PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) Hannaford Supermarkets is donating $750,000 to hunger relief and homeless outreach organizations throughout the Northeast to help with coronavirus response efforts. Groups in Maine are getting $225,000 from the Scarborough-based business.
Demand for food is unprecedented and many groups that provide emergency meals are facing shortages and significant new costs. People who rely on those organizations or who don't have a home are at increased risk.
Hannaford's donation includes $550,000 for food banks and $200,000 for groups that work with homeless people. The money in Maine includes $160,000 for the Good Shepherd Food Bank, $40,000 for Preble Street in Portland and $25,000 for Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.
“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.”
“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% 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.