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CUs active in holiday food drives
MADISON, Wis. (12/16/11)--Credit unions nationwide are holding food drives to help feed their less fortunate neighbors during the holidays.

Twenty-nine Hawaiian credit participated in "Have a Rice Day," a fundraiser for the Hawaii Foodbank and its neighbor island food distribution partners. From left, Jon Takushi, sales manager, Starwood Hotels and Resorts (sponsor); Anabel Lindsey, vice president of operations, Hawaiian Tel FCU, Honolulu; Dick Grimm, president, and Polly Kauahi, director of development, both of the Hawaii Foodbank; Gohan Da Hawaii Rice Guy; Randall Okamoto, vice president of lending, Hawaiian Tel FCU; and Kim Bartenstein, food drive manager, Hawaii Foodbank. (Photo provided by the Hawaii Credit Union League)
It doesn't snow Hawaii, but many favorite dishes are made with another white staple--rice. Twenty-nine credit unions from Oahu, Big Island, Maui, and Kauai participated in "Have a Rice Day," a fundraiser for the Hawaii Foodbank and its neighbor island food distribution partners. More than $39,771 representing the equivalent of 66,286 pounds of rice, was donated.

The program ran from Sept. 9 to Nov. 10. Each credit union gave away plastic rice paddles, imprinted with the credit union's logo, to those who donated 20 pound bags of rice or cash equivalents.

Each credit union held rice-themed events throughout the "Have a Rice Day" program, including plate-lunch sales, rice dish samplings, and rice cooker give-aways to drive awareness and increase donations.

Gohan Da Hawaii Rice Guy, a life-sized mascot created for the program, made appearances at credit unions on Oahu. ("Gohan" is the Japanese word for "rice.")

A check presentation was held on Wednesday at the Hawaii Foodbank in Honolulu. The money received and the rice donations were distributed to Hawaii Foodbank, Maui Food Bank, The Food Basket (Big Island) and Hawaii Foodbank--Kauai.

Thirteen credit unions joined to support Long Island Credit Unions' annual October Food Drive to help feed Long Island's hungry adults and children. Pictured from participating credit unions are: From left: Robert G. Allen, Teachers FCU, Hauppauge, Joann Doyle, North Shore-LIJ Heath System FCU, Jericho; Ed Paternostro, Nassau Educators FCU, Westbury; Carol Allen, People's Alliance FCU, Hauppauge; Brian Clarke, Bethpage FCU; Frank Cordano, Nassau Financial FCU, Westbury; Stacy Carter, Winthrop University Hospital Employees FCU, Mineola; and Bret Sears, Island FCU, Hauppauge. (Photo provided by the Long Island Credit Unions)
Other efforts taking place nationwide:

  • Honor CU, St. Joseph, Mich., and Greater Niles (Mich.) Community CU have partnered to collect food for the Salvation Army in Niles. The two groups gathered more than 2,000 canned goods and packaged items (Niles Star Dec. 14).
  • Texas Trust CU, Mansfield, Texas, donated $28,715 and 11,417 pounds of food collected during the "Together We Can Feed More Campaign" to the North Texas food bank. YOUR Community CU, Irving, Texas, collected 746 pounds of non-perishable items for the North Texas Food Bank during the "Together We Can" Feed More" campaign (Texas Credit Union League LoneStar Leaguer Dec. 8).
  • During November, RCU, Eau Claire, Wis., collected more than 800 stuffed bears and over 920 pounds of food during its annual Holiday Food and Bear Drive. Donated food items were delivered to community food pantries. Stuffed bears were distributed to children in local communities.
  • Long Island Credit Unions, a group of 13 credit unions, joined to support the efforts of Long Island hunger relief organizations Island Harvest and Long Island Cares, Inc.--The Harry Chapin Food Bank. This year the campaign yielded 2,508 pounds of food and raised more than $38,642.
  • As part of the International Year of the Cooperatives, about a dozen Texas Credit Union League chapters joined to form "Collaborating to Fight Hunger" (LoneStar Leaguer Dec. 8).
  • First Commonwealth FCU, Bethlehem, Pa., is holding a holiday food drive to benefit Second Harvest of the Lehigh Valley and The Greater Berks Food Bank. First Commonwealth has also partnered with some of its select employee groups to serve as additional collection sites, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway Nov. 22).


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