Wednesday, May 29, 2013
"One of the reasons behind the success of the Maine CUs' Campaign for Ending Hunger is that it is a cooperative effort, and that is the kind of effort that it is going to take to make a difference," stated Jon Paradise of the Maine Credit Union League during a Roundtable Discussion on Maine Public Radio on Hunger in Maine. The Roundtable was organized by Maine's credit unions to help build awareness about the issue of hunger in Maine.
During the Program, the efforts of Maine CUs in raising funds for ending hunger in Maine were lauded by the host and several callers. "Since 1990, Maine's credit unions have raised $4.8 million to help end hunger in Maine, representing more than two decades of commitment to this cause. That is a lot of money," remarked Host Jennifer Rooks on MPR's Maine Calling Show.
"We need to raise awareness for hunger in Maine, and shine light on this issue as often as possible," Paradise explained when asked about the purpose of having the discussion. "The reality is that hunger exists in every single community across Maine, and the impact is significant."
In addition to Paradise, two of Maine's leading hunger advocates appeared on the Program - Kristen Miale, President of the Good Shepherd Food Bank, and Brenda Davis, Founding Director of Cross Roads Resource Center and one of the state's leaders on this issue. Miale called the need "growing with no end in sight. We are seeing more and more people turning to food banks not as a short-term solution as used to be the case but for long-term assistance. That is an indicator about how big a problem hunger is in Maine." For her part, Davis agreed. "Hunger is affecting people who are working two and three jobs but just not able to make ends meet. Our pantry is seeing an increase in repeat users, and that means this is a growing problem."
While the panelists discussed the issue of hunger in Maine and some ways that people can help (donating fresh produce, volunteering and listening to the needs of hungry people), callers called in during the 45-minute program and offered their own tips. "Look at ways you can get more than one meal out of an item, and feeling full is more about quality and than quantity," one caller noted. Many callers urged the public to "look locally at what food pantries in their own communities needs are." "It takes a community coming together to end hunger. That is what it is going to take," added Davis.
Davis and Miale also both praised credit unions "for showing leadership and tremendous initiative on the issue of hunger in Maine. What the credit unions do for this cause is amazing."
100% of all funds donated to the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger stay in Maine and go to the cause of ending hunger. Since 1990, Maine Credit Unions' have raised $4.8 million to help end hunger including a record-setting $471,000 in 2012.
To learn how to make a tax-deductible contribution, click here.