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CUs food drives take on new meaning after Sandy
Click to view larger image Staff at Andrews Federal's Mt. Laurel, N.J., branch prepared more than 30 food bags to support the Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort. (Photo  provided by Andrews FCU)
MADISON, Wis.  (11/21/12)--Some credit unions' annual Thanksgiving food drives this year have taken on an extra dimension--besides providing a Thanksgiving dinner for the needy--because of people suffering losses in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Other credit unions continued to make sure that the needy in their local areas will be fed on Thanksgiving and during the holidays. 

Some examples are:

  • Andrews FCU in Suitland, Md., held a food drive at each of its branches and headquarters to assist with the physical needs of Hurricane Sandy victims. In addition to collecting food items, donations included blankets, clothing, juice, water and grocery gift cards. The $897.3 million asset credit union also provided extra help to its members who were impacted by the devastation caused by Sandy. Members with an Andrews FCU home loan who experienced property damage could call the credit union to explore financial options to assist with the extenuating circumstances created by the storm. "We know that natural disasters can leave families in an uncomfortable place," said Jim Hayes, Andrews interim CEO. "Superstorm Sandy certainly left an enormous impact on our communities, which is why Andrews Federal readily assisted the physical and financial needs of those affected by the storm."
  • Click to view larger image Helping to distribute food and food vouchers to more than 1,000 California families during Kinecta FCU's  39th Annual Holiday Food Drive are, from left: Nix Financial Branch Manager Dana Collins; Carson City Councilman Mike Gipson; California State Senator Curren D. Price Jr.; "Sweet" Alice Harris, executive director, Parents of Watts; and Kinecta CEO Keith Sultemeier.  (Photo provided by Kinecta FCU)
    More than 1,000 local California families identified by community-based organizations as in need during the holiday season received bags of traditional Thanksgiving food items, along with a $75 gift certificate, through  Kinecta FCU's 39th annual Holiday Food Drive. In the annual event, employees of the $3.14 billion asset, Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Kinecta FCU and its subsidiary Nix Financial collaborate with more than 35 non-profit organizations and churches in the county to provide temporary relief to deserving families. More than $53,000 was raised through member, employee and customer donations at Kinecta and Nix locations, and at corporate sponsors, including NuVision FCU in Huntington Beach, Calif.
  • As part of the ongoing MADTAG campaign, the Credit Unions of South Carolina donated 150 turkeys to the Miracle Hill Rescue Mission for their annual turkey fry in Greenville, S.C. Volunteers gathered at the mission Tuesday to fry, roast and smoke more than 300 turkeys that will feed the homeless at several Miracle Hill shelters in South Carolina. Dozens of additional turkeys will be distributed to local shelters and organizationsto use for their Thanksgiving dinners. "This donation is a true blessing" said a representative with Miracle Hill. "We started with only 40 turkeys this year, but thanks to the generosity of the credit unions so many more hungry men, women and children will have a hot meal this Thanksgiving." It's estimated that more than 2,000 people will be fed through the Miracle Hill turkey fry this year. Local radio celebrities joined dozens of volunteers Tuesday morning to assist with the turkey fry.
  • After spending an afternoon packaging 4,050 pounds of potatoes, many
    Employees from the Michigan Credit Union League pack potatoes in five-pound bags for distribution by Forgotten Harvest, a nonprofit company that provides food access to those in need in Michigan. (Photo provided by the Michigan Credit Union League)  
    employees from the Michigan Credit Union League were not interested in dining on French fries or mashed potatoes, but they were glad to have helped Forgotten Harvest process the spuds to help feed the poor and hungry people who count on Forgotten Harvest, a nonprofit company that provides food across the area (Michigan Monitor Nov. 12). The group was the second from the league to work at Forgotten Harvest's Southfield warehouse. Another group of employees from the league, CUcorp and CU Solutions Group worked an afternoon two weeks earlier and packed more than 2,500 pounds of beef jerky, tomatoes and yogurt chips. The organization "rescues" tons of food--most of which would otherwise be thrown away--from organizations such as restaurants, grocery stories and food processors. It then distributes the food to the needy. Forgotten Harvest counts on volunteer groups to package the food.
  • Credit Union Link sponsored the 2012 WDVD/WDRQ Canned Film Festival to benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan (Michigan Monitor Nov. 19). Through the program, people who brought five or more canned food items to a participating MJR Theatre on Nov. 14 received free admission to the movie of their choice. The sponsorship, part of additional fall advertising opportunities funded by CUcorp, allowed CU Link to be part of a community project and included announcements in radio spots, two e-newsletters for listeners and press releases about the event. The CU Link logo was also used on posters and radio station websites.


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