SOUTH PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Finding money for food on a tight budget is tough. It's even harder if you've never learned much about financial planning.

Laurie Nielsen is a loan specialist at Town and Country Federal Credit Union. For the past two years, she's spent time at the South Portland Food Cupboard answering questions about personal finance. It's not always an easy subject to talk about, but Laurie has seen first hand how learning about spending habits can be life changing.

"They don't want to look at it," says Nielsen. "When you are limited income like that, it's hard to face."

Town and Country Federal Credit union saw the great work the Food Cupboard was doing and wanted to become more involved. Officials say often times, the people Laurie works with with have not received much education around basic budgeting.

"We saw an opportunity where if they did a little better with that, maybe they would free up financial resources, and maybe even get them off the resources they need like the food pantry," says David Libby, President and CEO of Town and Country Federal Credit Union.

That's already happened a few times according to the Food Cupboard. The partnership between both programs has given people more financial independence, and put them in a place where they are able to give back.

"Some of those people have even come back and helped to provide money to provide food for other hungry people," says Dwayne Hopkins, Executive Director of the South Portland Food Cupboard. "People have come full circle. It's not just an attempt, it's actually been very successful."