February 10, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sherry Locke, Resource and Communications Manager ACAP
(207) 554-4130
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Aroostook Chapter of Maine Credit Unions end Souper Bowl of Caring

with more than $13,000 in soup donations

PRESQUE ISLE – A month long local challenge to collect soup as part of the national Souper Bowl of Caring campaign came to an end last week with members of the Aroostook Chapter of Maine Credit Unions collecting more than $13,000 in soup and cash donations. The donations will be distributed to food cupboards and pantries across Aroostook County.  

souper bowl team members

“Once again the credit union industry’s mission and philosophy of people helping people has yielded tremendous results. The issue of food insecurity is always out there in many communities and as usual the people of Aroostook have gone above and beyond to help one another. It’s extremely satisfying to be able to work as a team with the other credit unions of Aroostook County to impact the communities we all serve. Thank you to all the donors and all the staff who so enthusiastically participated in the Souper Bowl Challenge to Tackle Hunger. All credit unions in Aroostook County continue year round to impact the Ending Hunger Campaign so there is the ability to donate any time, not just during special promotions. Maine’s Credit Unions Ending Hunger Campaign raised over $832,000 in 2019 and we are all very proud to have participated in this critical community impact project.” said Dan Bagley, Executive Vice President of The County Federal Credit Union.

In total, our local credit unions collected $13,542 in soup can and cash donations at their 16 locations around the county since the first of January. Those donations will directly benefit people in Aroostook County who face food insecurity.

“100% of the funds raised, and the soup cans collected goes directly back into the communities that we serve. Friends and neighbors come together and donate so generously to the Ending Hunger Campaign at all three of the Aroostook Chapter of Credit Unions, NorState, Acadia and The County, we are truly blessed. Our credit unions staff work year round to make sure that we bring awareness to the needs of those in our communities, especially during the long and cold winter months when need is very noticeable. Thank you to our partners, ACAP and WAGM and to all who so generously contribute throughout the year, who help spread the word and special thanks to those selfless volunteers who work the County’s food pantries and distribution centers. Your love for others in need doesn’t go unnoticed.” said Denise Duperré, NorState Executive Marketing Director & Aroostook Chapter of Credit Unions President.

Acadia, NorState and The County Federal Credit Unions tackle hunger all year long as part of the Maine Credit Unions overarching Ending Hunger Campaign. They made the collective decision to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring as part of that larger effort.

“We were very pleased to be able to participate in this great event once again this year. Unfortunately, hunger and food insecurity is a real problem here in Aroostook County. It’s great that our local credit unions could team up to help ACAP fight this problem right here at home.” said David Desjardins, President and CEO of Acadia Federal Credit Union.

The Souper Bowl of Caring began as a grass roots movement in a South Carolina church in 1990 to collect cans of soup during the Big Game. That first year saw almost $6,000 in donations, and has continued to grow into a multi-million-dollar national annual campaign. This year marked the 30th year of this national event and the campaign has raised over $150 million dollars collectively. Although the campaign is completed nationally, each local initiative keeps its donations within its own community. Which is why, when Aroostook County credit unions decided to take on the event, they partnered with Aroostook County Action Program to help coordinate the local distribution of their collections.
Nine Community Cupboards and 13 food pantries throughout 15 Aroostook County communities received the donations. Recipient towns included Caribou, Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, Houlton, Washburn, Perham, Mapleton, Fort Kent, St. Francis, Mars Hill, St. Agatha, Madawaska, Ashland, Van Buren, and Eagle Lake.

“Hunger doesn’t discriminate,” says ACAP Program Supervisor Heidi Rackliffe. “It can strike working families, the unemployed, seniors living on a fixed income, and children at any time due to a number of unforeseen circumstances. That’s why continued and ongoing ways to address food security such as this Souper Bowl of Caring are critical to helping to ensure that nobody in our area goes hungry.”

WAGM-TV was a media partner on the project, providing coverage of the campaign and sharing in the production of commercial spots to market the effort.

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Credit unions in Maine began raising money for Ending Hunger in 1990. Since its creation, the Maine credit unions have raised a total of $9.4 million to help end hunger in the state. 100% of all funds raised stay in Maine and go directly to hunger organizations such as food pantries and soup kitchens to help end hunger. The Maine Credit Union Campaign for Ending Hunger is the largest, philanthropic fundraising effort for ending hunger in Maine by a non-hunger organization.

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