Wyoming Credit Unions Join Effort to Pay Off State Student Lunch Debt

Credit Unions Contribute More than $43,000 to Fight Food Insecurity

December 7, 2021 (Denver, Co) – A group of Wyoming credit unions have come together to make a difference in the fight against hunger in the state. They have joined an effort to pay off student lunch debt for all school districts in Wyoming.

In September, the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation launched a program called Credit Unions for Hunger Relief™ (CUHR), a regional community-based hunger relief program helps credit unions impact food insecurity right where they live. The program is open for credit unions in Wyoming, along with those in Colorado and Arizona, which make up the Mountain West’s region. Credit unions participate by holding fundraisers, donating their funds to the CUHR, and receiving a match up to $1,500. The matched funds are then distributed locally by the funding credit union.

After the launch of CUHR, Atlantic City Federal Credit Union’s CEO Brian Rohrbacher, brought forth the idea to partner with Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon’ s Wyoming Hunger Initiative to help eliminate the student lunch debt for all of Wyoming. That idea brought the two entities together with private donors to accomplish the goal of eliminating student lunch debt.

“Student lunch debt is a tremendous stress on the families, schools and communities,” Rohrbacher said. “This initiative gave us a springboard to work together across our entire state to provide much needed relief and to help students in need. We are especially thankful to First Lady Gordon and her team for their collaboration and coordination to help manage the logistics of paying off the debt.”

The student lunch debt in the state sat at more than $99,000. Thirteen credit unions across the state committed nearly $24,000 to the effort. That amount, coupled with the match from Credit Unions for Hunger Relief ™ brought the total to just more than $43,000. Private donations made up the remainder of the total.

“We are incredibly grateful to the credit unions in the state who stepped in to help pay off this debt,” First Lady Gordon said. “This represents the impact we can have when we commit to doing something. We may not be able to do everything, but we can all do something. Together, we have the opportunity to make great strides in our state.”

“This initiative is exactly the kind of impact we hoped we’d be able to have when we launched Credit Unions for Hunger Relief ™,” said Dr. Dan Santangelo, Executive Director of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation. “By working together and pooling our money, we’ve been able to make a significant contribution to help offset food insecurity in the state of Wyoming. This is just the beginning, and we are excited to doing much more as this program grows.”

The credit unions that participated in the effort were:

    • Atlantic City Federal Credit Union
    • Blue Federal Credit Union
    • Campco Federal Credit Union
    • First Education Federal Credit Union
    • Meridian Trust/MT Northstar Foundation
    • Pathfinder Federal Credit Union
    • Reliant Federal Credit Union
    • Sheridan Community Federal Credit Union
    • StagePoint Federal Credit Union
    • Trona Valley Federal Credit Union
    • UniWyo Federal Credit Union
    • Western Vista Federal Credit Union
    • WyHy Federal Credit Union

 

The participating credit unions gathered with the Governor and First Lady, along with the other contributors, in a reception on Dec. 1 at the Governor’s Residence in Cheyenne, Wyoming. That group is pictured.

About Credit Unions for Hunger Relief

The Credit Unions for Hunger Relief™ initiative is a way that credit unions in Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming can leverage their individual efforts to help solve food insecurity in their local communities. The initiative allows for a matching fund allowance to increase the credit union’s donation and further help the community. This helps bring to life the credit union principle of “people helping people.” For more information, visit https://www.creditunionsforhungerrelief.com