AUBURN, Maine (9/13/13)--The Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger made a $25,000 donation as it announced its three-year, $75,000 commitment to the Good Shepherd Food Bank's efforts to end childhood hunger in Maine.
Maine's credit unions announced a $75,000, three-year commitment to Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn, Maine, to help expand childhood hunger programs in schools statewide. Pictured at the presentation of the first installment on behalf of the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger, which has raised $4.8 million since it began in 1990, are, from left, John Murphy, president of the Maine Credit Union League; Luke Labbe, chair of the league's Social Responsibility Committee; Jon Paradise, league assistant vice president of governmental and public affairs; and Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. (Photo provided by the Maine Credit Union League)
The announcement was made Monday at the food bank in Auburn, Maine. The funds will support the food bank's BackPack and School Pantry Programs. The food bank conducted the first BackPack packing session for the 2013-2014 school year, following the announcement. The BackPacks were assembled by volunteers from Maine's credit unions. The funds distributed for the program are part of the record-setting $471,000 the credit unions raised in 2012.
"Maine's Credit Unions are dedicated to 'people helping people' of all ages," said John Murphy, president of the Maine Credit Union League. "The problem of childhood hunger in our state is extreme. With one in four Maine children being food-insecure, Maine ranks first in New England in terms of child food insecurity. It is our hope that through this joint effort with the Good Shepherd Food Bank, we will make great strides towards ending childhood hunger in our state, both through providing much needed funds, and raising wide-reaching awareness."
The BackPack Program provides children with nutritious, easy-to-prepare food to eat during weekends and school vacations when crucial school meals are unavailable. This school year, the Good Shepherd Food Bank will operate the BackPack Program in 20 schools in five counties, serving 800 kids per week. The contribution will provide about 185,000 meals to children during the school year.
The School Pantry program allows school staff to provide children in danger of hunger with nutritious food to take home to their families. By the end of this school year, the Good Shepherd expects to have 16 School Pantries statewide, with a goal of providing 90,000 meals this year. The funds will benefit existing food pantries and allow the opening of future food pantries in schools across Maine.
Since 1990, the Maine Credit Unions' Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised $4.8 million to help end hunger in Maine including a record-setting $471,000 in 2012.