Around the Region

Maine’s credit unions contribute to pair of county food cupboards

    Recently, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger, which has raised $5.3 million since 1990 including a record-setting $513,000 in 2013, announced the distribution of $17,000 of those funds to 33 hunger organizations throughout the state. Two food pantries from every Maine county received checks for $500 each, with the UMC Ecumenical Food Cupboard of Milo and Partnership Food Pantry of Guilford of Guilford both receiving funds.

lo-foodcupboard-dcX-po-33Photo courtesy of Maine Credit Union League

SHARING THE BREAD — Lewis Dyer, center, of the UMC Ecumenical Food Cupboard in Milo accepts a loaf of bread and the other kind of bread — a check for $500 — from the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger at the Campaign’s annual ‘Share the Bread’ event. Clara Whitney, communications and advocacy manager for Good Shepherd Food Bank, and Jon Paradise, vice president of Governmental & Public Affairs for the Maine Credit Union League, are pictured with Dyer. The UMC Ecumenical Food Pantry was one of two food pantries in Piscataquis County to receive contributions, with the Partnership Food Pantry of Guilford also receiving $500.

    This year marked the 10th annual ‘Share the Bread’ event, one of the most-widespread, one-day contributions to ending hunger in Maine. “Share the Bread” brings 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 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 all 16 Maine counties.
    According to Jon Paradise, vice president of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Maine Credit Union League, this event comes at a time when supplies at many food pantries are at critical levels. He said, “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.”
    Representatives from two food pantries in each of Maine’s eight northernmost counties received two types of bread—the bread you can have with butter and the bread that can buy groceries. Each food pantry received a $500 check from the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger. The bread giving began earlier in the day with representatives from 16 food pantries in the eight southernmost Maine counties receiving bread and checks. Good Shepherd Food-Bank also received a total of $1,000 during the day.

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