Maine CUs' partner with high schools, Good Shepherd Food Bank, and TV stations to raise nearly 175,000 lbs of food for Maine's hungry

March 10, 2017

Season 8 of the School Spirit Challenge on WGME CBS 13 and FOX 23 concluded in a special ceremony at their studios and the big winner was: Ending Hunger in Maine.  The effort, which challenges high schools to raise food and money, was once again sponsored by Maine's credit unions and the Maine CUs' Campaign for Ending Hunger.  The five participating schools collectively raised nearly 175,000 lbs of food, with Telstar Regional High School in Bethel taking top honors by raising nearly 60,000 lbs of food.  In addition to a trophy and other items, the winning school received a check for $1,000 for financial education from Maine's credit unions.

"What a great way to engage high school students in an effort that helps to support and bring awareness to the problem of hunger.  High school students have so much enthusiasm, and to see them be involved in community-service and helping their communities to end hunger makes our support of the School Spirit Challenge a natural partnership.  We are pleased to support the program and to provide funds for financial education to the winning school.  Financial education is another significant initiative of Maines credit unions so this ties the two together," stated Jon Paradise, Vice President of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Maine CU League.

This winter's Challenge was the fourth consecutive year that Maine's credit unions have been the major sponsor, and representatives from Maine's credit unions attended every rally as well as the Finale which recognized all participants and announced the Top 3 schools.  As part of the ceremony, Paradise highlighted the history of Maine's credit unions with ending hunger.  "Since 1990, Maine's credit unions have cooperatively come together to raise more than $7.2 million to help end hunger in Maine, including a record-setting $675,000 in 2016.  In addition to providing financial services to communities, Maine's credit unions are committed to making communities a better place.  Hunger is a significant issue in Maine, and we are proud to be a leader in helping to do something about it.  Our partnership with WGME, Fox 23, the Good Shepherd Food Bank, which receives all of the food and money raised during the Challenge, as well as the participating high schools brings what we do to the next generation.  We're proud to have been the major sponsor of the School Spirit Challenge once again."

While Telstar Regional High School finished first, all schools were commended for making a difference.  The Top 3 also included Cheverus High School at #2, Fryeburg Academy at #3.  The other schools participating were: Richmond High School and Mt. View.