Maine credit unions shatter ‘Ending Hunger’ campaign record

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Each summer, the Campaign raises awareness for summertime hunger — a time where food pantries are essential to provide food to children who may not be getting food from school programs.

Throughout the year, Maine credit unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger partners with the Good Shepherd Food Bank to support the food mobile which has delivered more than 2.5-million pounds of food to pantries across Maine since it first went on the road in 2005.

Additionally, 2014 marks the Maine credit unions’ Ending Hunger Walking Tour’s 13th consecutive year. The Tour is a partnership between Maine’s credit unions and Brenda Davis, executive director of Crossroads, a hunger organization serving eastern Maine, and a leading hunger advocate in Maine. The mission of the Walking Tour is to raise awareness about the severity of hunger in our state because many parts of Maine are rural in nature, many people have to travel great distances to receive food assistance.

Each summer, the Campaign holds a “Share the Bread” event, when along with loaves of bread, Maine credit unions contribute $17,000, one of the largest single-day contributions to multiple hunger organizations in Maine, to organizations in every county in the state.

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Jon Paradise, AVP of Governmental & Public Affairs Manager for the Maine Credit Union League, said that events like this are about more than donating much-needed funds, they are also about raising awareness.

“As we recognize the significance of hunger in Maine and, most specifically, feeding a number of Maine’s children during summer vacation when there are not meals provided at school, Maine’s credit unions will provide resources to help organizations in each county make a positive impact on thousands of people in Maine.”

To ensure that even the most rural Maine towns receive the food they need, the Campaign partnered with Good Shepherd Food Bank in 2005 to introduce the state’s only food mobile. Since its inception, the food mobile program has distributed nearly 3-million pounds of food throughout the state.

The program continues to be an invaluable resource to Maine’s food pantries, not only because of the rise of gas and oil prices, but throughout the winter months when the truck is able to travel to remote food pantries that may have trouble receiving food any other way. The food mobile celebrates its ninth anniversary this year.

Since 1990, the Maine credit unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised $5.3 million to help end hunger in Maine.

For more information on how you can help Maine’s Credit Unions end hunger, visit www.mainecul.org and click on the Ending Hunger link under “Community Involvement.” All contributions are tax-deductible.

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