'Novel' idea to fight hunger

Nov 24, 2011

Portland — The Maine Credit Union League has partnered with Maine-based publisher Islandport Press to hold the inaugural Online Literary Auction to Fight Hunger. All proceeds from the auction, which will run from Monday, Nov. 28 through Friday, Dec. 2, benefit the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger.

Some of Maine’s and the nation’s top literary and artistic talent have contributed signed copies of books including Dahlov Ipcar, Richard Russo, Colin Woodard, Tess Gerritsen, Cathie Pelletier, Sarah Thomson and many more. In addition to Russo and Gerritsen, local authors and illustrators include Paul Doiron and Brian Vanden Brink. Special items to be auctioned include a complete signed set of 2011 Maine Literary Award winners donated by Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance; a hand-crafted pillow with a scene from Ipcar’s “The Cat at Night” by Classic Rug Collection; and an original painting by Page O’Rourke.

The around-the-clock auction will be conducted primarily via the Islandport Press Facebook page. Information on silent auction items will also be available at islandportpress.com/fighthunger. All books or sets of books will have a minimum bid of at least $15, which, because each $1 donated will buy $14 to $16 worth of food, translates into about $225 worth of food. To ensure that 100 percent of the money raised benefits the anti-hunger campaign, Lunt & Lunt Lobster Company of Frenchboro has agreed to cover the cost of shipping books to winning bidders.

Hunger in Maine is becoming an ever more critical issue. According to the League, more than 40 percent of Maine children younger than age 12 show some evidence of hunger; 19,375 Maine children are hungry; and an additional 64,087 children are at risk for hunger. In total, data shows that 12 percent of Maine households, representing 161,000 people, experience food insecurity. The Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger started in 1990 and since that time has raised nearly $4 million, with all of the money raised distributed to hunger organizations and food pantries throughout Maine. For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit mainecul.org.

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