2008-11-26 / Front Page

Someone to be thankful for

Ending hunger in Maine
By David Hart Irregular Staff

Franklin Somerset Federal Credit Union Branch Manager Nancy Merrill (right) presents a check to Brenda Davis to help support her initiative to raise awareness to end hunger in local communities. (David Hart photo) Franklin Somerset Federal Credit Union Branch Manager Nancy Merrill (right) presents a check to Brenda Davis to help support her initiative to raise awareness to end hunger in local communities. (David Hart photo) KINGFIELD — There paced the rigorous walk of a woman who gleamed with a friendly face, wore a colorful yellow hard hat and a yellow sweatshirt. As she strutted down North Main Street in Kingfield the words on her shirt revealed her purpose: "Annual Maine Credit Unions' Ending Hunger Walking Tour," it read as trucks roared past her last week.

There stood a woman from Old Town, Maine who was in Kingfield and determined to make a difference. Not a statewide campaign, national or even global contribution to ending world hunger, but walking in Kingfield to raise money for the greater Kingfield community.

Brenda Davis, Executive Director of Cross Roads Ministries, is working with the Maine Credit Union League to create the awareness of the severity of hunger in rural Maine. Her walks, a part of a statewide Walking Tour during Ending Hunger Month, symbolizes the struggle that many Mainers go through just to get food for their families.

Brenda Davis has walked thousands of miles over the years and is motivated to make a difference in Maine. Here she struts down North Main Street in Kingfield last week. (David Hart photo) Brenda Davis has walked thousands of miles over the years and is motivated to make a difference in Maine. Here she struts down North Main Street in Kingfield last week. (David Hart photo) In numerous instances many people lack the transportation necessary to receive assistance and are forced to walk miles each day to the nearest food bank or pantry.

"One time I met a man that had to walk 23 miles to the closest store to get a gallon of milk," Davis explained before her walk. "Because of his transportation issue he could not drive. It dawned on me later that if that man was doing that walk in July his milk would spoil before he got home."

"In six years, the Walking Tour raised more than $80,000 for ending hunger and covered 2,950 miles, 53 communities and visited 74 credit unions across the State," said Jon Paradise of the MCUL.

The MCUL makes a $100 donation to one pantry in each and every community that Davis visits. This is on top of the support that Franklin Somerset Federal Credit Union and other businesses provide their local food banks.

And on-the-go she was as the lovely 60-year-old woman planned on walking that day in four other communities. She planned on walking in Farmington next and as far as South Paris that day.

"But I come to this community to ask people to support their own local pantry," Davis explained inside the Credit Union. "I find that Kingfield is a lot like other smaller communities that I go into. Everybody knows everybody else, so you know where the problems are." She explained that she hoped that the people here would become more aware of the problems at hand and help support those who are in need.

"Everybody has the right to food," Davis explained. "Years ago I heard a young mother having to make a choice between feeding her family and buying gas to go to work… I realize that people are making choices," she explained.

Mainers should be thankful for Brenda Davis and supporting businesses on Thanksgiving Day for her generosity and contributions toward this cause.

Since 1990 the MCUL Campaign for Ending Hunger has raised more than $2.7 million in Maine to end hunger.

On this day, Davis walked briskly from the credit union along Route 27 to the downtown village of Kingfield. Her purpose on this segment was to support the United Economic Ministry in Salem.

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