FARMINGTON, Maine – The only such walking tour in the nation committed to ending hunger made a local stop at Cascade Brook School in Farmington on Thursday, November 16, as part of the Maine Credit Union League’s annual Campaign for Ending Hunger.
According to FeedingAmerica.org, 14% of residents in Franklin County alone experience food insecurity as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Statewide, Maine is ranked 1st in New England for food insecurity and 7th in the nation, according to the USDA. As part of the solution to this pervasive problem, each year the Maine Credit Union League and longtime ending hunger advocate Brenda Davis host a walking tour through Maine as an expression of solidarity for those in rural areas who must walk long distances to access food and to collect donations for local food assistance programs.
Covering nearly 1,800 combined miles by car and foot, the 16th annual Ending Hunger Walking Tour will visit more than 90 communities and credit unions on its journey through Maine this year, collecting donations along the way for local food assistance programs. To-date, the Tour has raised more than $7.2 million to help end hunger in Maine, with 100% of all funds raised distributed to food banks, pantries, and other assistance programs.
On November 16, Walking Tour co-founder Brenda Davis spoke to more than 300 elementary school students at Cascade Brook School in Farmington, which raised over 1,258 pounds of food through a schoolwide Helping Hands challenge for the Care & Share Food Closet in Farmington. Addressing the assembly, Davis shared the story of how the Walking Tour was born out of her plan to walk the Appalachian Trail; at the suggestion of a friend, Davis instead decided to walk her own ‘Appalachian Trail’ to end hunger in Maine with the help of her local credit union and the Maine Credit Union League.
University Credit Union sponsored the school’s Helping Hands challenge and the tour stop in Farmington. UCU Branch Manager Beth Beaudoin and UCU Campaign for Ending Hunger Representative Tonya Pickering presented the Campaign with a donation of $116 for the Care & Share Food Closet and also donated $175 to the school library to fill a need for additional books. Volunteers from UCU also helped to load the 1,258 pounds of food donated by students at Cascade Brook School and Mallet School onto a truck for delivery.
The Care & Share Food Closet serves residents from the towns of Farmington, West Farmington, Farmington Falls, New Sharon, Chesterville, Temple, New Vineyard, New Portland and North New Portland who meet federal eligibility guidelines for food insecurity. The Closet is located at 508 Fairbanks Road in Farmington, on the lower level of the Fairbanks Community Center.
About University Credit Union
Established on the University of Maine campus in 1967, University Credit Union is an innovative, full-service financial institution with a mission to actively advance the financial well-being of our members in every stage of their lives. UCU is the seventh largest credit union in Maine in terms of total assets and the third largest in terms of total members. UCU has nine retail locations across the state serving the University of Maine System students, employees, and alumni and their families primarily. Branches are located in Orono, Bangor, Farmington, Gorham, Portland, and Presque Isle. For more information visit ucu.maine.edu.