June 7 the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger presented $17,000, one of the largest single-day contributions to multiple hunger organizations ever in Maine, to 33 hunger organizations throughout the stat,e including two each in Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties. The two  recipients from Waldo County were the Prospect Community Food Pantry and  the Northport Food Pantry.

To bring 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 sixth annual “Share the Bread” 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 every Maine county.

Representatives from two food pantries in each of Maine’s eight northern-most counties received two types of bread: the kind used for toast, and the kind used to buy food, with a check for $500 from the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger in a ceremony at Good Shepherd Food Bank’s Distribution Center in Brewer. A similar ceremony was held with representatives from food pantries in Maine’s eight southern-most counties earlier that morning at the Maine Credit Union League in Westbrook, where bread and checks were presented to 16 more food pantries. Good Shepherd Food Bank also received a total of $1,000 during the day.

Jon Paradise, governmental & public affairs manager for the Maine Credit Union League, said that “Share the Bread” was created not only to increase the amount of food available to Maine communities, but also to bring attention to an issue afflicting many Maine citizens. “Maine’s credit unions are about people helping people, and sharing the bread is an extension of this philosophy.

“In these difficult economic times, it is important for Maine people to know that hunger does exist in our state, in every county and every community,” he said. “As we recognize the significance of hunger in Maine and, most specifically, feeding a number of Maine’s children during summer vacation when there are not meals provided at school, Maine’s Credit Unions will provide resources to help organizations in each county make a positive impact on thousands of people in Maine.”