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CUs work to ease hunger during Thanksgiving
MADISON, Wis. (12/1/08)--Donations to many of the nation's food banks are not keeping pace with increased demand, especially in today's economy. However, credit unions worked to make sure people had enough to eat during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Volunteers from US FCU, Burnsville, Minn., packaged meals for Feed My Starving Children. Each meal was packed with essential ingredients necessary to establish better nutrition and health for children around the world. (Photo provided by US FCU)
Nationally, donations are up about 18%, but demand has grown more--between 25% and 40%, says Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger relief charity (USA TODAY Nov. 26). Many credit unions had volunteers working to provide food to various organizations. Here are some examples. Employees of US FCU, Burnsville, Minn., volunteered at the Northfield Armory last month to pack meals for Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit that feeds starving children around the world. More than 700 volunteers, including 12 from the credit union, helped pack 171,072 meals consisting of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and vegetarian chicken flavoring. The initiative will feed about 500 children for one year. Madison, Wis., area credit unions collected cash or check donations in their End Hunger at a Credit Union campaign last month. Proceeds will benefit Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin's more than 400 foodbanks. The campaign is part of NBC15's Share Your Holidays campaign. Among the supporters are CUNA Mutual Group, Madison Area Chapter of Credit Unions, and Summit CU.
Security Service FCU (SSFCU) employees Jennifer Gleitz and Derrick Aguilar help Nick Migliore, son of SSFCU employee Rich Migliore, collect frozen gobblers during the annual Turkey Round-Up Nov. 22. The credit union collected more than 200 turkeys for the San Antonio Food Bank to distribute to families in need. SSFCU continued to collect canned goods and donations throughout November, working toward a goal of one million pounds of food. (Photo provided by Security Service FCU)
On the day before Thanksgiving, employees from Service CU (SCU), Portsmouth, N.H., stopped at three food pantries and soup kitchens to drop off hundreds of ready-to-cook turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. All 15 branches of the credit union participated in the food drive. They also collected canned goods and non-perishables for the New Hampshire Food Bank. "For every 10 items collected, we donated a turkey," Lori Holmes, public relations manager for SCU, told local newspapers (Seacoastonline.com Nov. 19 and Fosters.com Nov. 26). The Idaho Food Bank needed 500 turkeys, and last week, Potlatch 1 FCU, Lewiston, Idaho, stepped up to the plate and provided all 500 turkeys. "We supported the turkey drive last year and this year again," said President/CEO Chris Loseth (KLEWTV.com Nov. 26). The turkeys will help fill the food bank warehouse and reach the goal of giving out 2,500 turkeys during the holiday season. Canned yams were the item of interest to San Antonio FCU (SACU) in Texas. SACU collected canned yams to support the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner. The annual dinner feeds more than 25,000 people, including senior citizens and people in need. "This year, even more than in the past, being able to provide a nutritious meal in a festive environment is very gratifying," said Jeff Farver, SACU president/CEO. Pacific Service CU continued its sponsorship of Huckleberry Youth programs by providing meals and snacks for runaway and homeless youth at the Huckleberry Youth Program shelters in San Francisco and Marin Counties, Calif. Steve Punch, president of the Walnut Creek, Calif.-based credit union, noted that the program "is an important resource for kids who feel they have no alternatives to avoid homelessness or running away."
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