Maine credit unions ‘share the bread’ to support fight against hunger
PORTLAND - On Monday, June 11, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, which has raised more than $4.3 million since 1990 including a record-setting $447,000 in 2011, distributed $17,000 of those funds, one of the largest, single-day contributions to multiple hunger organizations ever in Maine, to 33 hunger organizations throughout the state.
Two food pantries serving Franklin County, Clearwater Ministries Food Pantry and the Wilton Area Food Pantry, were among the recipients. To bring awareness to the issue of hunger in Maine, and the acute need for food for Maine’s 80,000 school children during summer vacation, the annual ‘Share the Bread’ event was created by Maine’s credit unions to recognize the efforts of food pantries across the state and to provide significant financial assistance to food pantries in every Maine county. The event is one of many throughout the year that Maine’s credit unions coordinate to distribute the funds raised through the Campaign.
Representatives from two food pantries in each of Maine’s eight southern-most counties received two types of bread: the kind used for toast, and the kind used to buy food, with a check for $500 from the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger in a ceremony at the Good Shepherd Food-Bank’s Portland Warehouse. A similar ceremony was held with representatives from food pantries in Maine’s eight northern-most counties in the afternoon at Good Shepherd Food-Bank’s Distribution Center in Brewer, where bread and checks were presented to 16 more food pantries. Good Shepherd Food-Bank also received a total of $1,000 during the day.
Luke Labbe, Chair of the Maine Credit Union League’s Social Responsibility Committee, which helps coordinate the Maine CUs’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, said that ‘Share the Bread’ was created not only to increase the amount of food available to Maine communities, but also to bring attention to an issue afflicting many Maine citizens. “Maine’s credit unions are about ‘people helping people’ and sharing the bread is an extension of this philosophy. In these difficult economic times, it is important for Maine people to know that hunger does exist in our state, in every county and every community,” he said. “As we recognize the significance of hunger in Maine and, most specifically, feeding a number of Maine’s children during summer vacation when there are not meals provided at school, Maine’s Credit Unions will provide resources to help organizations in each county make a positive impact on thousands of people in Maine.”
The following southern and central Maine food pantries received donations (pantries from Maine’s eight, northern-most counties participated in a separate event in Brewer):
Trinity Jubilee Center – Lewiston
High Street Congregational Food Pantry – Auburn
South Portland Food Cupboard – South Portland
Falmouth Food Pantry – Falmouth
UMC – Wilton Area Food Pantry – Wilton
Clearwater Ministries – Food Pantry - Industry
Augusta Food Bank – Augusta
Vassalboro Food Station Food Pantry - Vassalboro
Boothbay Regional Food Pantry- Boothbay
Waldoboro Food Pantry - Waldoboro
Families in Crisis Outreach – South Paris
Dixfield Food Pantry – Dixfield
Bath Area Food Bank - Bath
Richmond Food Pantry - Richmond
Old Orchard Beach Food Pantry – Old Orchard
York County Food Rescue – Sanford
Since 1990, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised $4.3 million to help end hunger in Maine.