Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger is pleased to announce that its month-long $100,000 Challenge raised over $227,000 to support Good Shepherd Food Bank’s COVID-19 response and community food pantries across the state. The Challenge began on June 4 with a $100,000 pledge from Synergent, the Maine Credit Union League’s service subsidiary. The goal was to raise an additional $100,000 by July 4.

“We encouraged credit unions, businesses, and individuals to make an online donation to Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger to support our hunger-relief partners,” said Todd Mason, president/CEO of the Maine Credit Union League and Synergent. “There are so many individuals and organizations that work hard year-round to ensure Mainers have access to meals, but their efforts have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. To lend them a hand, Maine credit unions wanted to come up with a creative fundraiser to get a broad audience involved. The Challenge was our answer.”

Seventy-five % of the funds raised online during the Challenge by Maine credit unions are going back to their communities in the form of financial support to local food pantries and meal sites. The remaining 25% of the funds raised will be added to Synergent’s $100,000 donation and directed to Good Shepherd Food Bank’s COVID-19 response.

“Maine’s charitable food network has never seen challenges like those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “Rising unemployment and poverty due to quarantine and stay-at-home orders are impacting people already at risk of hunger and could result in up to an additional 67,000 Mainers experiencing food insecurity, an increase of 39%. Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger makes a huge impact in our ability to serve our network of over 500 partner agencies throughout the state to ensure that nutritious food is appearing on Maine’s tables.”

“Even though our Challenge has ended, Maine credit unions’ efforts to raise money to fight hunger in our state will continue,” said Mason. “Without question, the fundraising road ahead won’t be easy, but most things worth doing are difficult. Hunger doesn’t take a vacation, and neither will we.”

Every Maine credit union participates in Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger and raises money throughout the year to support the initiative. Since 1990, the Campaign has raised over $9.4 million, including a record-breaking $832,000 raised last year. Donations to the Campaign can be made online or by visiting a local credit union branch.