The League was in Augusta on Monday to testify in support of L.D. 359, “An Act to Address Student Hunger with a Breakfast After the Bell Program,” a bill sponsored by Washington County Senator Marianne Moore. The League joined hunger-relief advocates including Full Plates Full Potential, Good Shepherd Food Bank, and school nutrition directors in endorsing the bill which would require school administrative districts where 50% of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch to offer breakfast after the school day begins.
As a network, Maine’s credit unions are deeply committed to combatting hunger in our state. We support this bill because it will provide more children in need an even greater opportunity to fuel up with healthy food in the morning.
In our testimony, the Leagued highlighted what Maine’s credit unions have done to combat hunger in Maine and outlined our long-term commitment to eradicate this problem.
“We applaud Senator Moore and her commitment to solving Maine’s hunger crisis. There is no one-size-fits all approach as we have learned through our own efforts to combat hunger. Advocacy, education, financial support – it’s all needed to eradicate this problem. Maine’s credit unions are working hard to do our part. Last year we raised $792,000 as part of our Ending Hunger Campaign and have raised over $8.5 million since we began this effort 19 years ago. But until every family has access to healthy and nutritious meals, we will continue supporting this effort and work alongside organizations like Good Shepherd Food Bank and Full Plates Full Potential.
L.D. 359 won’t solve our hunger crisis, but it will move the needle by helping a vulnerable population. Given the magnitude and urgency of this problem, we wish we could sprint to the finish and address this issue with one simple solution; but it is a marathon. To achieve victory we must continue taking progressive steps forward which is why we encourage your committee to support L.D. 359. Bi-partisan approval of this legislation would send a strong signal that the Legislature is committed to ending hunger in Maine. And we stand with you to help.”
The bill, which is before the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, will be scheduled for a work session in the coming weeks. Upon conclusion of the work session, the Committee is expected to vote on the bill.