Plenty Of Spirit!  Maine's Credit Unions Part Of Good Shepherd Food Bank's Largest-Ever Food Drive
March 7, 2014


(Photo at left features Jon Paradise of the Maine CU League (far right) and Jeff Peterson of WGME 13 (third from right) and representatives from area high schools at the School Spirit Challenge Finale at WGME CBS 13's studios)

WGME CBS 13's Winter School Spirit Challenge had lots of spirit and even more success!  Sponsored by Maine's credit unions, in cooperation with WGME 13 and Good Shepherd Food Bank, the challenge's eight participating schools collected a record-setting 241,000 lbs. of food in less than two months.  The winning school was Wiscasset High School, which collected 58,000 lbs. of food, but the real winners were Maine's hungry.

"This food drive is the largest one that Good Shepherd Food Bank has ever been involved with, and this will provide more than 200,000 meals to Maine people who don't have enough to eat.  The outpouring of generosity from the students at the participating schools and the support of the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger was wonderful to be a part of; it was great to see lots of energy and passion and enthusiasm from high school students for such an important cause," explained Julie Sexton of Good Shepherd Food Bank.

Jon Paradise, Vice President of Governmental & Public Affairs for the Maine Credit Union League, called making sure people have enough to eat "one of the most important issues that we are dealing with in Maine.  Maine's credit unions are committed to being a leader in doing whatever we can to help the nearly 15% of Mainers, including one in four Maine children, who are food insecure.  The School Spirit Challenge brought communities together, and that's, in many ways, what credit unions are - not just in communities but part of communities.  Maine's credit unions have been involved with raising funds for ending hunger since 1990, and have now raised more than $5.3 million since then including a record-setting $513,000 in 2013.  Being part of the Challenge and building awareness, along with collecting food and funds, was another way to make a difference in this effort.  Congratulations to all of the schools that participated - you are all winners!"

As the winning school, Wiscasset High School received a special trophy and a $1,000 check from Maine's credit unions for its library and financial education.  The runners-up were Cheverus High School and Portland High School.  The other schools participating were (in alphabetical order): Catherine McAuley High School, Deering High School, Messalonskee High School, Poland High School, and South Portland High School.