2007 was another record-setting year of raising funds for the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, as $366,575.80 – a 15% increase from 2006, was raised! Since 1990, the Campaign has raised over $2.7 million to help end hunger in Maine.

These remarkable results marked the 11th consecutive year that the Campaign has surpassed the $100K mark, the fifth straight year of raising $200K or more, and the second year the Campaign exceeded the $300K plateau. During the current year, Maine credit unions have been distributing these funds to food pantries and hunger organizations in their local areas. What is extremely notable about the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger is that 100% of all funds raised stay in Maine, and go directly to the cause, benefiting the very communities in which the funds are raised.

Jon Paradise, Governmental & Public Affairs Manager for the Maine Credit Union League, explained, “This campaign continues to be an incredible example of the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People’ and highlights the power of people when they come together for a common cause.”

Each June, the Campaign holds a ‘Share the Bread’ event, when Maine credit unions contribute $17,000, one of the largest single-day contributions to multiple hunger organizations ever in Maine, to organizations in every county in the state. Paradise said that more than donating much needed funds, events like this are also about raising awareness on this too common crisis. “It is important for Maine people to know that hunger does exist in our state, in every county and every community,” Paradise said.

To ensure that even the most rural towns receive the food they need, the Campaign partnered with Good Shepherd Food Bank in 2005 to introduce the state’s only Food Mobile, a truck able to transport over 7,000 tons of food to pantries in need. The Food Mobile 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 will be able to travel to remote food pantries that may have trouble sending someone to pick up food. The Food Mobile celebrates its third anniversary this year.

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.

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