Simmons Attorney Andy Williams helps unload pallets filled with items from the 6th Annual Simmons Employee Foundation Food Drive at the Alton Salvation Army. The drive raised 36,430 pounds of food that were delivered to five area food pantries on Friday.ALTON, Ill., Nov. 16, 2012 – Simmons Law Firm employees delivered today more than 35,000 pounds of food and personal hygiene items to Madison County area pantries donated during the 6th Annual Simmons Employee Foundation Food Drive.

 “Supporting the food pantries in our communities goes hand in hand with our employee foundation’s mission,” said Marty Mengarelli, firm attorney and director of the foundation. “It’s important to everyone here at the firm that we always start our holiday season by giving back to those who need an extra bit of help this time of year.”

Tuesday, firm employees sorted and divided the food into 5 equal portions of about 7,000 pounds each, which were then loaded onto palettes. This morning, the food was loaded onto two trucks that delivered the 36,430 pound of donated goods to the Alton Salvation Army, the Crisis Food Center in Alton, the Community Hope Center in Cottage Hills, the Collinsville Area Ministerial Association’s Helping Hands food pantry, and the Community Care Center in Granite City.

Lyn Cloninger, president of the Community Hope Center, was very appreciative for the delivery. He said the pantry always depends on the firm’s donation to restock their canned goods before the start of the holiday season.

“This is a slow time for us leading up to the holidays. We’re always low (on donations) from about the end of August until the holidays start,” he said. “The Simmons Firm’s food drive donation is always a big help. They support a big part of what we do here, and we really appreciate it.”

Cloninger said the pantry has never been busier with the number of families the pantry serves up by 15 to 20 percent since last year. On average, the pantry serves about 100 families every day it’s open. However, last Wednesday, the pantry served a record breaking number of 153 families, he said. Last month, the pantry served a total of 71,000 pounds.

“We serve a lot of needy people,” Cloninger said. “We’ve been seeing a lot of professional people who used to donate themselves who are now needing our help.” 

The SEF food drive is also supported by corporate sponsors in the community. RCS Construction, of Wood River, Ill., donated two trucks, gas and a driver to help deliver the food. Kienstra Illinois, of Madison, Ill., supplied a second driver. Save-A-Lot in Granite City also donated the delivery of several tons of food to the firm’s warehouse in East Alton.

“We couldn’t have done it without our employees, their friends and families who donated the items and the local business who ensured the food arrived where it was supposed to be,” Mengarelli said.

The SEF food drive ran from Oct. 1 through Nov. 9.

Simmons employees and volunteers unload roughly 7,000 pounds of donated items on Friday at the Community Hope Center in Cottage Hills. The items were raised during the 6th Annual Simmons Employee Foundation Food Drive


About Simmons Employee Foundation:

In late 2004, the employees of the Simmons firm came together to create a single, streamlined way for them to give back to the communities they are so proud to call home.  As a result of their creativity and heartfelt commitment, the Simmons Employee Foundation (SEF), has provided nearly $1 million of financial support and countless volunteer hours to local charitable organizations.

About Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC:
The Simmons Firm is a litigation firm with practices in asbestos, intellectual property infringement, personal injury, pharmaceutical injury litigation and commercial litigation. With offices in Illinois, Missouri and California, the firm has secured more than $4 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of thousands of individuals, families, and businesses. In addition, the Simmons Firm has pledged nearly $20 million to cancer research and proudly supports its local communities through other charitable causes. For more information about the Simmons Firm, visit

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