Food Pantries Praise Maine CUs For Timely Contribution
August 19, 2015
Representatives from many of the 33 food pantries that received contributions from the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger at the recent 'Share the Bread' events in Westbrook and Bangor called the timing of the contribution "very needed at a critical time." One representative from a York County pantry said, "Summer is a really tough time for us, because demand is high but contributions are low. People sometimes forget that hunger is a year round problem." At the events, Maine's credit unions contributed more than $20,000 to two food pantries from every Maine county and the Good Shepherd Food Bank.
This year marked the 11th Annual 'Share the Bread' event, one of the most-widespread, one-day contributions to ending hunger in Maine. 'Share the Bread' aims to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in Maine, and the acute need for food for Maine's 65,000 school children during summer vacation. The Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger started this initiative to recognize the efforts of food pantries across the state and to provide significant financial assistance to food pantries in all 16 Maine counties during a time of year that hunger organizations struggle with contributions and shortages.
According to Jon Paradise, Vice President of Governmental Affairs & Public Relations for the Maine Credit Union League, this event comes at a time when supplies at many food pantries are at critical levels. "When people think of summer in Maine, they usually think about taking vacations and being outdoors; helping the local food pantry is often the furthest thing from their minds at this time of year. Sadly, summer is a hungry time for Mainers just like any other time of the year, except it doesn't get the same attention as it does around the holidays. With another month or so of school vacation remaining, help is needed right now for many of the 65,000 children across Maine who are currently on summer vacation and may not have access to the same meals that are provided during the school year. That's why we are trying to help. Hopefully, others will be encouraged to help, as well."
Vicki Stuart, President/CEO of Central Maine FCU and Chair of the League's Social Responsibility Committee, which coordinates the Campaign, said, "It was heartwarming to hear how passionate the people who run these food pantries are about helping others. These organizations are primarily run by volunteers, so it does make a big difference."
Since 1990, the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised $5.9 million to help end hunger in Maine. 100% of all funds raised go directly to the cause, and stay in Maine.