AUGUSTA — Student senates at Maine’s seven community colleges have donated a total of $101,600 in food and funds this spring to food relief agencies across the state. 
The effort, known as Graduation: Can Due, was undertaken in response to growing unemployment and a dramatic increase in demand for food assistance.
The initiative was designed as a graduation present from MCCS students to the larger community in recognition of the support the students have received from the people of Maine.  
More than 45 Maine food relief agencies will benefit from Graduation: Can Due.  At Kennebec Valley Community College, students donated more than $20,000 in food and funds to 10 local food pantries. 
Eastern Maine Community College donated more than $21,600 and Central Maine Community College more than $7,200 in food and funds to the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Auburn, which has seen a 25 percent increase in demand for its statewide services in just the past year. 
“The support of local businesses and organizations helps us to distribute food to more than 70,000 hungry families, children and homeless in Maine every month,” said Good Shepherd Food-Bank Executive Director Rick Small.
“This generous donation of food and funds from the students, faculty and administration of the MCCS will help our partner agencies provide close to 150,000 meals to those who struggle with hunger each day,” he said.
Students at Northern Maine Community College donated a ton of food to Catholic Charities and its network of 24 local food pantries throughout Aroostook County.
Southern Maine Community College donated more than $10,600 in cash and some 7,700 pounds of food to the Wayside Food Rescue Program. York County Community College contributed nearly $10,000 in food and funds to local and county-wide food assistance efforts in York County; and Washington County Community College, in partnership with its local communities, held a series of fundraising events and food drives that raised more than $12,000 in cash and 4,000 pounds of food for seven food banks in the Downeast region.

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