ORONO, Maine — Brenda Davis is expected today to take the final steps of a 700-mile trek she embarked on in October to help end hunger in Maine.
Davis, executive director of Crossroads Ministries in Old Town, began the annual hunger walks seven years ago in partnership with Maine Credit Unions to raise money and awareness about hunger issues, especially during Maine’s cold winter months.
“Each of these years she has started out at one end of the state and made each step to the other so that many families, friends, seniors and kids don’t go hungry,” according to Crossroads Ministries’ Web site.
This year the Ending Hunger walk began Oct. 28 at Maine State Credit Union in Augusta, the top fundraising credit union from last year, and concludes at 11 a.m. today at University Credit Union.
Davis said in a Bangor Daily News article from 2003 that she was moved to walk for hunger by what she saw occurring all around her in the many communities that Crossroads Ministries serves.
“Hunger is a hidden disease,” she said. “How many people choose between a meal and medicine? How many cut back on the grocery purchases to buy oil?”
Each winter, poor and low-income Mainers are faced with those questions.
The most touching and inspirational moment to her was also one of the saddest, she said in 2003. While walking through Waterville, she saw someone eating from a trash can. To her, it was motivation to keep spreading the word that hunger is a problem in Maine.
“It has to start with each one of us, one step in each community,” Davis said at the time.
The Ending Hunger walk raised more than $22,000 during 2007, “and all proceeds went to help end hunger in our local communities,” the Crossroads Ministries Web site states.
“We will have raised over $27,000” this year, Jon Paradise of the Maine Credit Union League, said Sunday. “Unfortunately, the need is greater than ever.”
This year, the Ending Hunger walk encompassed more than 57 communities from Fort Kent to Kittery and hit every county in the state.
Along the way, Davis visited food pantries in each community and issued $100 donations from the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger. And at each of the 71 credit unions she visited, Davis picked up a campaign contribution to support the cause.
How much Davis has collected this year is being announced today when she crosses the finish line.
The Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger has contributed more than $100,000 to the Ending Hunger walk since it began in 2002, and since 1990, the campaign has raised more than $2.7 million to help end hunger in Maine, a press release states.