Scarborough, Maine -- In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Hannaford Supermarkets is donating $750,000 to numerous hunger relief and homeless outreach organizations throughout the Northeast as they work to support some of the most at-risk members of the community during the pandemic.
The health crisis and related economic impact are creating unprecedented demand for food assistance, resulting in operational disruptions and significant new costs for the agencies that provide emergency meals. In addition, individuals who rely solely on pantries and shelters – or who live on the street – face particular risk of contracting and spreading the virus because they have no home to shelter within.
Hannaford’s donation includes:
• A total commitment of $550,000 to food banks in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. This includes $300,000 in new funds, in addition to a recently announced $250,000 donation to the food banks.
• A total of $200,000 to organizations that work with homeless people. The donation will be used to help create social distance among these individuals, while helping them to meet the most-basic needs of survival and staying healthy amid the crisis.
“Every day, we are learning more about the impact of this virus and responding together as a community to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hannaford President Mike Vail. “Our company and our associates are working hard in our grocery stores to meet the most-basic needs of our community during this difficult time: food and medicine. We hope that this donation also will help the most-vulnerable of our neighbors meet their fundamental needs of staying fed and healthy, during this difficult time.”
Maine organizations will receive $225,000. This includes $125,000 in donations announced today and a $100,000 donation recently announced for Good Shepherd Food Bank, as outlined below:
• Good Shepherd Food Bank: $160,000 (includes $100,000 previously announced)
As the largest hunger-relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for Mainers facing hunger by distributing nutritious food to more than 450 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, and senior programs.
• Preble Street: $40,000
Preble Street provides services for people experiencing temporary and long-time homelessness, including housing, advocacy, teen services, a soup kitchen and a food pantry. On any given day, the organization serves meals to 300 people at the largest soup kitchen in Portland, ME.
• Bangor Area Homeless Shelter: $25,000
The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter is the largest homeless shelter in Bangor, ME. Open 24 hours a day, the organization provides many services to homeless individuals, including a soup kitchen, emergency food pantry, shelter and apartments for previously chronically homeless adults. Medical and mental health services are also available.
“The COVID-19 situation is creating a ‘perfect storm’ for the charitable food network in Maine and the people we serve. We’re seeing surges in demand, declines in food donations and volunteers, and disruptions to normal operating procedures,” said Good Shepherd Food Bank President Kristen Miale. “Our partner food pantries and programs throughout the state are carrying the largest burden, with more than one-third of our partners seeing a 50 percent increase in the number of Mainers seeking help. This generous support from Hannaford will help us respond to the demand by purchasing food that will be distributed to community partners at no cost over the coming weeks.”
“We're so encouraged by how the community is pitching in. Between our three soup kitchens and food pantry, we distributed 68,000 meals in March to teens and adults and families, as well as people who had found themselves without a job or those who had never had to ask for a free meal in their lives. We couldn't do it without friends like Hannaford and their “we're-all-in-this-together” generosity,” said Preble Street Chief Development Officer Elena Schmidt.
Individuals who wish to make donations to support these organizations may do so online at:
Good Shepherd Food Bank:
Bangor Area Homeless Shelter