CT Credit Unions Deliver Gifts to Nonprofits For International Credit Union Day

October 19, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. – Today at the CT State Capitol, a press conference and donation ceremony was held in recognition of International Credit Union Day in the Old Judiciary Room. State Senator Eric Berthel (R) Watertown, joined with state officials and representatives from the CT Food Bank, Operation Fuel and Foodshare to commend the Credit Unions Building Financial Independence Foundation, the CT Charitable and CT Financial Reality Fair foundations for their contributions to the CT Food Bank, Operation Fuel and Foodshare. Credit Unions in CT collectively raised the funds through hosting in-house raffles, candy sales and social media pledges that helped raise additional dollars for their non-profit partners. (Photos Joseph Lemieux- CT Senate Republicans)

Connecticut Credit Unions Deliver Gifts to Nonprofits For International Credit Union Day

Thanksgiving and Christmas came early Thursday to three nonprofit organizations that struggle to keep up with the growing demand for their services.

The Credit Union League of Connecticut, celebrating International Credit Union Day, delivered a gift of $16,000 each to the Connecticut Food Bank, Foodshare and Operation Fuel at the state capitol building.

The gift, raised as a result of charitable efforts by the state’s 96 credit unions, was $6,000 more than the league usually contributes annually.

David Hinchey, director of community impact for the Credit Union League of Connecticut, said the timing of the gift was critical, with Thanksgiving a month away and the first cold snap of the fall underway.

Hinchey also praised the three organizations who he said mirror the credit unions’ mission of people helping people.

Bernard Beaudreau, CEO and executive director of the Connecticut Food Bank, said his organization would use the funds to help more of the growing number of households in the state who are experiencing food insecurity, meaning a lack of financial resources for food at the household level.

Beaudreau told the audience that food insecurity in Connecticut had risen from 8.8 percent in 2007 to 12.2 percent in 2017.

“There are 450,000 people in Connecticut who are unable to meet their monthly food budget and have to go without,” Beaudreau said.

“Our challenge is very real.”

Jason Jacubowski, president and CEO of Foodshare, said the extra $6,000 would translate into an additional 15,000 meals his organization will be able to provide.

“It will help us go a long way to reaching our goal of providing 14.5 million meals this year,” Jacubowski said.

Jacubowski also pointed out that hunger, which affects one in eight state residents and one in six children, is not confined to urban areas and that Foodshare operates at mobile sites in Avon, Simsbury and Canton, as well.

“And it’s not just single parents,” he said. “We serve a lot of seniors. The struggle is real out there.”

Foodshare is also poised to start its annual campaign to provide turkey dinners and raise additional funds for the next year.

Jacubowski said he expected that the organization would have in excess of 15,000 requests for turkeys and would need to raise an additional $500,000 through the campaign.

“If we don’t have a good November and December things are rough the rest of the year,” he said.

Brenda Watson, executive director of Operation Fuel, told the audience that her organization would be able to help up to 30 households stay warm this winter thanks to the league’s donation.

As for the $6,000 larger amount than the organization had anticipated, Watson said it was “like Christmas came early.”

Operation Fuel will also be spotlighting the effects of not having heat in a house with the creation of an ice house that will be open to the public at the Old State House on Jan. 24. The 15 foot by 75 foot house will have walls and furniture made by an ice sculptor the night before.

“When a household is without heat it’s not a safe or desirable place to be,” Watson said.