U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon has donated $350,000 in leftover campaign funds to a pair of Maine nonprofits that support families in need.

The Democrat who lost in her bid to unseat incumbent Susan Collins last month announced the donations Friday of $250,000 to Full Plates Full Potential, which focuses on ending childhood hunger, and $100,000 to Keep ME Warm, which provides heating assistance.

“Full Plates Full Potential and Keep ME Warm work every day to help Maine families through this difficult time, and I’m proud to support them,” Gideon said in a statement. “I’ve always believed that public service is about making a difference and improving the lives of people in your community. Helping Maine people is what inspired me to run for office and it’s what continues to guide me today.”

The former Maine House speaker from Freeport raised a record $75 million and ended her campaign with about $14.8 million unspent. Any money raised during campaigns that is not spent can be used for future political purposes, including donations to other candidates or party committees, or can be donated to charitable causes, according to federal election laws.

Full Plates Full Potential was co-founded by Justin Alfond, a former Democratic state Senate president from Portland. It’s the state’s only statewide child hunger organization and has been working during the pandemic to ensure that Maine children have access to nutritious food, even when they are not in school. Gideon’s campaign helped raised money for the organization last spring.

Keep ME Warm is a statewide partnership between the state’s United Way organizations and Community Action Agencies.

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