Too Many Families Struggle with Hunger

From the Kennebec Journal – Thank you for your thoughtful editorial, “Hungry students continue to fall through the cracks,” and for generating awareness about a critical problem impacting thousands of children in our state (Our View, Feb. 15). In the 21st century, no child should go hungry, but every day many families struggle to put food on the table. This is an epidemic worthy of our time, attention and resources.

Combatting hunger cannot occur in a vacuum. There are organizations across Maine working hard — often with very little — to feed those in need. Their efforts are not insignificant, but more can and should be done to address this problem. I am pleased the Legislature will be examining several bills this session to increase access to free and reduced-price meal programs at schools, and hope our elected officials move much-needed policy changes forward.

Maine’s credit unions are deeply committed to ending hunger. Our employees, volunteers and members donate time, food and money to support this important initiative. Last year alone, we raised $792,000 as part of our Campaign for Ending Hunger and in 2019 I’m optimistic we’ll raise even more. While fundraising is important, we recognize it’s not the only solution. A holistic approach is needed to remove barriers and serve those in need.

While no one wants to see headlines like these in the news, preventing hunger and eliminating the stigma surrounding this issue deserves our attention. Ignoring this problem won’t make it go away, it will just make life harder for families in our state.

Todd Mason
Maine Credit Union League