Aligned with the shared principle of coming together to give back to their communities, credit unions across the state collectively participate in the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger. This signature social responsibility campaign is the largest, non-hunger organization-based philanthropic fundraising effort to end hunger in our state.

Since the program’s inception in 1990, Maine credit unions have raised over $9.4M to help end hunger. Each year, our network sets a new fundraising record, and 2019 was no different with $832,333 raised. The amount includes over $20,000 in food donations.

Funding comes from four sources:

  • Credit Unions: Dollars raised by individual credit unions through fundraising activities such as payroll deduction, raffles, and events;
  • Chapters: Dollars raised by chapters from golf outings, auctions, and other activities;
  • MECUL/Synergent: Dollars raised by MECUL/Synergent from the annual golf tournament, auctions, and other activities; and
  • Other: Dollars raised primarily from vendors.

The Campaign’s distributions are allocated to three primary categories: local food pantries, schools, and Good Shepherd Food Bank. 9% of the funds distributed from the Campaign in 2019 went directly to Good Shepherd Food Bank’s new Hampden Distribution Center and its Emergency Response Fund.

While the League provides all the back office support and management for the Campaign, it is a separate organization and falls under IRS rules for a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. This includes the requirement of securing W-9s from supported organizations and ensuring an appropriate accounting of all contributions and distributions to the Campaign.

Programs

Statewide initiatives that benefit from the Ending Hunger Campaign include:

School Backpack and Pantry Program

To date, the Campaign has contributed more than $200,000 to help expand and support the backpack program and school food pantry program in schools across Maine. Since the Campaign’s involvement, these programs have grown from serving a few hundred kids per week to thousands of kids each week. They now operate in more than 125 schools statewide.

Food Mobile

In 2005, the Campaign partnered with Good Shepherd Food Bank to provide the initial support to bring the first Food Mobile to Maine. Since then, the Campaign has continued to support the Good Shepherd Food Bank and its mission to deliver food to areas in need, especially during emergencies.

Hampden Distribution Center Project

In early 2018, the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger announced a $100,000 commitment to help fund the renovation of the Good Shepherd Food Bank’s new Hampden Distribution Center. As part of the commitment, which has been fulfilled, the food packing area at the facility is called the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger Food Packing Area. The Center has a capacity to provide more than 10 million meals.