WESTBROOK, Maine — Maine credit unions are again coming to the assistance of the state’s hungry by raising more than $40,000 in 2008, including a special gift in memory of a special food bank leader who died in 2004.

With a $10,000 donation in honor of the late JoAnn Pike, founder and executive director of the Good Shepherd Food Bank, the league is on track to surpass the $33,000 contributed a year ago.

The “Giving of the Green” ceremonies to present the $10,000 JoAnn Pike check on the four-year anniversary of her death from cancer were held on St. Patrick’s Day with food bank and CU leaders in attendance.

“Two days after Pike passed away, Maine credit unions were the first to make a significant contribution in her memory,” noted the league. “Every year since, Maine’s credit unions have made a donation in her memory to mark the anniversary of her death and to remember the long-time hunger pioneer.”

Maine CUs have contributed more than $50,000 in Pike’s memory since 2004 and have donated more than $2.7 million to help end hunger in the state over the last two decades.

–jrubenscut@aol.com