This Saturday, Maine State Credit Union hosted our Third Annual Walk to Stop Hunger in Maine. The past couple years we held it at the University of Maine in August. This year we moved it to Capitol Park, right in front of the capitol building here in Augusta.
Here’s some information from our Leagues site (the total number of Maine households differs slightly depending on the site you are looking at, such as The Good Shepherd Food Bank site)
More than 40% of Maine kids under the age of 12 show some evidence of hunger
19,375 Maine children are hungry
An additional 64,087 children are at risk of hunger
New data shows that 12% of Maine households, representing 161,000 people, experience food insecurity
Hunger and the risk of hunger are widespread among Maine's low-income families with children
The likelihood of experiencing hunger or the risk of hunger is directly related to income
Children living in households which experienced hunger or the risk of hunger are more likely to experience health or school-related problems.
Several groups are found to be at greater risk of hunger in Maine; children, adults in low income families, disabled persons, persons with special needs, the elderly, those living in rural regions and the inner cities of Maine's largest urban places.
Several factors contribute to hunger in Maine; including income growth that is outpaced by cost of living; high level of underemployment; widening gap between rich and poor; illiteracy; and lack of consumer information on nutrition.
The event has grown every year. The first year had 180 walkers, year two had 196, and this year we had a big jump up to 225. Thanks to all those who attended, donated, sponsored, and walked for this awesome cause.
Since the Campaign for Ending Hunger was started by the league in 1990, credit unions state-wide have raised over 2.7 million dollars for the cause. In 2007 the campaign raised over $360,000 to help those in need in our state. This year we matched last years walk by raising over $17,000.
This year we expanded the event to include a band, bounce house, balloon animals, and a fun run for those under 10. It really was a blast. We all had a great time hanging out after the walk, enjoying some dogs and burgers and listening to some great tunes provided by the band “Good Friday”, my personal favorite was their cover of “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer.
This year First Lady Baldacci, who graduated with a degree in food and nutrition, joined us for the third year running to speak at the opening of the event and also walked the trail with our CEO, Normand Dubreuil. During her opening remarks she cited some of the above stats on hunger in our state, praised credit unions and Maine State CU for their involvement in ending hunger. My favorite quote from her was “This is something that certainly with the economy we have now is facing all of us, this issue, and is certainly something that we as Americans can end.”
Thanks again to everybody who showed up on Saturday to donate their money, canned goods, time, and services to help Credit Unions put a dent in the hunger problem in our state.
A special thanks goes out to Mike Stewart who raised the most money of an individual (over $700). He’s a great guy with a great attitude and an incredible dedication to the cause.
Also, thanks to Anthony Geroux, collections Manager here at MSCU, who led Team Geroux to raise the most of any team (over $2400).
We all had a blast! I hope anyone who didn’t make it this year will join us next year for this awesome community event for a lot of fun for a good cause.
Edited With: Windows Movie Maker
Filmed With: Cannon Powershot