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News Now

CU System
Food banks shortages would be worse without CUs
MADISON, Wis. (12/3/07)--Food banks nationwide are reporting a depletion in their supplies, but credit unions’ efforts to feed the hungry are helping stock food pantry shelves. The food banks are reporting critical shortages that are forcing them to ration supplies, distribute staples usually earmarked for disaster relief, and even close (The Wall Street Journal Nov. 30).
FirstLight FCU, El Paso, Texas, held a press conference to kick off the 2008 FirstLight FCU Sun Bowl Food Drive Nov. 22. The drive resulted in 55,000 pounds of food. (Photo provided by FirstLight FCU)
“In Maine, the need for food has increased as a result of economic conditions, rising cost of fuel and other increasing costs,” Jon Paradise, governmental and public affairs manager for the Maine Credit Union League told News Now. The league, which has shown a strong commitment to ending hunger over the years, just completed its sixth Annual Maine Credit Unions’ Ending Hunger Walking Tour. “The word from the food pantries was that more people are coming to them for assistance earlier than usual this year,” Paradise said. While on the tour, the league contributed $25,000 to purchase food and is continuing to raise money through the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger. The Maine credit union campaign has raised more than $2.3 million in the state since 1990 to end hunger. Credit unions in other states are participating in similar activities and food drives:
* Michigan First CU, Lathrup Village, Mich., is collecting non-perishable food items for the non-profit Forgotten Harvest, based in Oak Park; * Service CU, Portsmouth, N.H., held a food drive in all 12 of its branch locations and donated more than 1,300 pounds of food to the New Hampshire Food Bank. It also donated $30,000; * Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., is collecting non perishable food items to be distributed through local non profits and food banks; * FirstLight FCU, El Paso, Texas, partnered with the West Texas Food Bank to bring in more than 55,000 pounds of food during a recent holiday parade; * Smart Financial CU, Houston, partnered with the University of Houston Athletic Department to donate 12,000 pounds of food to Houston’s Star of Hope Mission (LoneStar Leaguer Nov. 30); * Bellwether Community CU, Manchester, N.H., sponsored the Tons of Turkeys food drive with a local radio station. The drive broke a record with the collection of 32 and 1/2 tons of turkey donated.
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