NorState Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce that the annual Hope for the Holidays Food Drive was beneficial for local food pantries from Fort Kent to Houlton. 

Local food pantries were the recipients of over 8,342.31 pounds of non-perishable items to stock the shelves. NorState’s Ending Hunger Director Elaine Clavette commented, “The decrease in collections was due in part of a shorter collection time and a sign of change in our financial economy due in large part to the Covid-19 pandemic, added Clavette. 

The generosity of the people of Aroostook County was the driving force in helping the food drive collection this year. “In part, the success of the food drive is dependent on the generosity of people living here in Aroostook County or who may have ties to the County, stated Susan G. Whitehead, CEO of NorState Federal Credit Union. I’m pleased with the totals; I’m overwhelmed with people’s generosity towards our neighbors in need. Without the cooperation of the participating merchants, the generosity of our neighbors and the spirit and County pride to do unto others as we’d have done unto us, we would not have such a year end result.”  Our co-sponsor, Channel X radio, respectively gives much awareness to potential donors and to their listeners, about the progress of the food drive as well as information on where to donate non-perishable goods or monies. 

NorState is thankful that they realize we are all in this together. “This food drive doesn’t cost the food pantries money,” added Clavette. When the Hope for the Holidays Food Drive started back in 2004, it was just a small local drive put together by a few individuals who saw the need which grew into a Valley-wide food drive in 2007, and reached down as far as Ashland by 2010. 

“This food drive gives pantries the extra needed items to fill pantry shelves for the upcoming cold winter months. Donors can take comfort in the fact that their donation of non-perishable food to the food drive remains local. Thanks to Maine’s Ending Hunger Campaign, that is under the supervision of the Maine Credit League, thanks to many food pantry volunteers, who tirelessly go around to collect the donations for their respective pantry, added Whitehead. They are the heart and soul of the food pantries, and truly are unsung heroes.” 

Hope for the Holidays Food Drive may have come to an end for 2020, but the monetary donations are still being accepted year round as fundraising efforts to end hunger is ongoing. NorState coin sorters in Fort Kent, Madawaska and Presque Isle will continue with this fund raising effort to end hunger in our communities, by donating the user’s fee to this campaign throughout 2021. All donations received remain local and 100% goes back to the food pantry and feeding our neighbors throughout the year. Mail your donation to end hunger to NorState FCU, c/o Ending Hunger Campaign, 78 Fox Street, Madawaska, ME 04756 or drop off at your local NorState office. For more information about the Ending Hunger Campaign, call 1-800-804-7555.

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