The Star-Herald

Credit unions join for ‘souper’ drive

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Members of the Aroostook Chapter of Maine Credit Unions are facing off in a game where everyone is a winner, collecting cans of soup to help stock local community cupboards and some food pantries throughout the region to keep people fed this winter.

Acadia, NorState and The County Federal Credit Unions are participating in the “Souper Bowl of Caring,” a friendly challenge to collect cans of soup at each of their locations from Jan. 2 until Feb. 22, 2019.

“Tackling hunger for our communities is extremely important, as there are many families and individuals in need, and we may never know the extent of how much of a difference even the smallest donation can make in someone’s life,” said Dan Bagley, executive vice president of The County Federal Credit union.

“To know that you are helping someone in need is rewarding in itself, and as a community, as we all pitch in together, the impact will be felt across the entire County,” he said.

“What a great opportunity for the Aroostook Chapter of Credit Unions to engage our credit union members and communities throughout Aroostook County to come together to help our friends and neighbors in need,” said Denise Duperré, president of the Aroostook Chapter of Credit Unions and NorState chief marketing executive.

“A small donation goes a long way to feed an individual in need. Donate one or more cans of soup at your local credit union. Your donation will help feed people in your hometown,” she said.

“Hunger and food insecurity is a problem in The County and I’m pleased that our local credit unions were able to team up to help fight this issue,” said Acadia Federal Credit Union president/CEO David Desjardins. “It’s another way that local institutions with the help of local people are helping to address the issue of hunger in Aroostook County.”  

Aroostook County Action Program is coordinating the donation distribution. As many as 10 community cupboards throughout The County, as well as some food pantries in communities without a food cupboard, will receive collected food.

“Food cupboards are a great alternative when you’re facing hunger and are unable to access traditional food pantries due to issues such as hours of operation, restrictions on numbers of visits in a given time period, or income guidelines,” said ACAP Family Coach Heidi Rackliffe. “Soup is a perfect food when someone doesn’t have a functional kitchen, and soup is a complete, nutritious meal in a can.”

The Souper Bowl of Caring began as a grassroots movement in a South Carolina church in 1990 to collect cans of soup during the “big game.” That first year saw almost $6,000 in donations, and has continued to grow into a multimillion-dollar national annual campaign.  

ACAP will report collection totals to the national movement to be included in their 2019 campaign tally, but all soup and monetary donations will remain local.

Anyone can drop off cans of soup or make a donation to the soup can drive at any local credit union.

To build momentum and help spread the word, people donating soup may take a “Selfless Selfie” to share on their credit union’s social media pages using the hashtag (#) #CUtacklehunger.

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