Maps Community Foundation Helps Credit Union Members Restock Groceries
March 2, 2021
The Maps Community Foundation distributed just over $40,000 to 813 Maps Credit Union members this past week who lost all their perishable food when a February ice storm left thousands of Oregonians without power for days.
“Waking up to the storm’s damage and personally experiencing an extended power outage, I knew that one area we could offer immediate assistance was to help our members restock their food supplies,” said Foundation Executive Director, Kim Hanson.
The Foundation gave $50 in grocery relief funds to each impacted member who reported a need in the wake of the storm. About three-quarters of Maps’ 70,000 members live in Marion and Polk counties, where ice-covered tree branches downed power lines and disrupted phone service during the Valentine’s Day weekend storm.
Many people experienced serious threats due to the extended power outages, surviving for days in chilly homes without heat or hot water, and facing food insecurity. Coming on the heels of September’s wildfires and the ongoing pandemic, the storm’s destruction hit the community especially hard.
Maps and its philanthropic arm, the Maps Community Foundation, quickly decided to reach out and offer support to members. Six days after the storm, they launched a grocery card ice storm relief program, promoting it via online banking and social media. Members could apply online for a grocery gift card to help them restock their food supply when power returned.
“Seeing the devastation and ensuing prolonged power outages caused by the ice storm, we recognized that many of our members would need assistance,” said Mark Zook, President and CEO of Maps Credit Union. “The efforts of the Maps Community Foundation to serve our members at this time of need is exactly why our Foundation exists.”
In less than 24 hours, more than 800 households applied for support, reflecting the widespread community impact. To ease the distribution of funds, Maps pivoted from giving grocery gift cards to depositing $50 directly into members’ accounts. The money arrived last week.
Since then, hundreds of members have expressed their gratitude.
“We are humbled, energized, and impressed by this kind of offer,” said one member. Another said, “Thank you guys for such a kind and thoughtful gesture in these trying times.”
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