Giving back to the community is a way of life for credit unions, and during this year’s Southeast CUNA Management School, third-year students took a break from the academic rigors of the program to put credit unions’ “people helping people” philosophy into action.
Thirty-eight volunteers from the Southeast Regional Credit Union Schools (SRCUS) management program spent an afternoon diligently sorting retail salvage and reclaimed (recovered) 3 tons of product at the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia (FBNEGA) in Athens, Georgia. The student’s endeavor is presently helping to feed food-insecure families in the fourteen counties in northeast Georgia. Currently, there are over 100,000 food-insecure individuals in the Northeast Georgia area.
“In addition to the intense academic instruction we receive at SRCUS on operational and technical issues, we also spend time exploring how credit unions really are different and why we have such strong ties to our local communities,” explained Vernon Clevenger, President of the Class of 2015 and Executive Vice President of Central Sunbelt Federal Credit Union in Laurel, MS. “Helping people is what we do every day, and it was a very meaningful experience to work side by side with such a great group of credit union volunteers from around the country to give back to the Athens community.”
Last year, FBNEGA volunteers contributed in excess of 38,000 labor hours (the equivalent of 20-21 fulltime employees). With the energies and support of volunteers and the community, such as those from SRCUS, the Food Bank distributed 12 million pounds of food last year.
“The mission of the Food Bank is to work toward ending hunger as an overall community effort to alleviate poverty, and SRCUS is assisting us in fulfilling that mission,” said Bill Taylor, Lead Volunteer Coordinator at the food bank. “The Food Bank NEGA appreciates all the work and support of SRCUS, and we look forward to their help again in the near future.”