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 $11.3 million. Each year, our network works hard to raise critical funds to get food into the hands of Mainers in need. In 2021 alone, credit unions contributed $930,367.80 to combat hunger. The amount includes food donations and contributions made by credit unions directly to hunger-relief organizations.

Funding comes from four sources:

  • Credit Unions:Dollars raised by individual credit unions through fundraising activities such as payroll deduction, matching campaigns, raffles, and events
  • Chapters:Dollars raised by credit union chapters from golf outings, auctions, and other activities
  • Maine Credit Union League/Synergent:Dollars raised by the Maine Credit Union League/Synergent from golf tournaments, auctions, and other activities
  • Other:Dollars raised from corporations (both in and outside Maine), individuals, vendors, and others that share our commitment to ending hunger

The Campaign’s distributions are allocated to four primary categories: local food pantries, meal sites, schools, and Good Shepherd Food Bank.

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.

A testimonial provided by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and our partner, Good Shepherd Food Bank:

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.

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.