The Star-Herald

Credit union contribution will provide 80,000 meals

WESTBROOK, Maine — Though temperatures may be at their hottest, donations to local food pantries “cool” significantly over the summer months.  

To help, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger has once again “shared the bread,” an effort that will provide 80,000 meals to food pantries across Maine.  Two food pantries in each Maine county received contributions of $600 each.

In Aroostook County, Friends Helping Friends in Easton and the Greater Fort Kent Ecumenical Food Pantry received contributions.  Collectively, the contribution totals more than $21,000, which will enable food pantries to purchase more than 80,000 meals.

“While many people are enjoying all that summer in Maine has to offer, unfortunately, there are thousands of Mainers who are worried about where their next meal is going to come,” remarked Jon Paradise, vice president of public affairs and engagement.

“Many of those are children, who are out on summer vacation, and can’t as easily access meals through school.  In addition to making a contribution, part of the event’s goal is to raise awareness that summertime hunger is a significant issue in Maine.

According to Good Shepherd Food Bank, the timing of the contribution couldn’t be better.  “Many food pantries are struggling with reduced donations because it is summer. Maine’s credit unions prove once again what a great partner they are to ending hunger in Maine.”

In all, 33 food pantries, including Good Shepherd Food Bank, received a contribution and a loaf of bread at ceremonies held at the Maine Credit Union League in Westbrook, and at the Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Distribution Center in Hampden. Paradise said the loaf of bread is “symbolic of the sharing spirit that is so strong in Maine, and represents what credit unions are all about.”

The contribution is part of the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger’s statewide initiatives, and utilizes some of the funds raised through the 2017 campaign, which raised a record-setting $740,000.

Since 1990, the campaign has raised $8 million to help end hunger in Maine.  To make a tax-deductible contribution, stop by any local credit union or visit www.mainecul.org.

In Maine, there are 55 credit unions with 200 locations and nearly 692,000 members.

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