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School food pantries open in Maine

11/13/2013

Description

Hannaford Supermarkets donates $40,000 to support the Biddeford School Pantry and sponsor child hunger programs in several other communities in southern Maine.

Details:

**PRESS RELEASE**

John F. Kennedy Memorial School and Good Shepherd Food Bank Launch School Pantry Program in Biddeford
Hannaford donates $40,000 to sponsor this and other child hunger programs

Biddeford, ME (Nov. 13, 2013) -- JFK Memorial School and Good Shepherd Food Bank announced today that the school has opened a food pantry to provide children who lack access to nutritious food at home with a reliable source of food for evenings, weekends, and vacations.

The city of Biddeford has a poverty rate of 13.3 percent, slightly higher than the statewide rate of 12.8 percent. Sixty one percent of students at JFK Memorial qualify for free or reduced price meals in school. While these children can depend on lunch at school, they often go home at night and on the weekends to empty cupboards and must rely on convenience store snacks or fast food restaurants for meals.

“Many students come to school hungry each day,” said Jeremy Ray, Superintendent of Schools.  “We are extremely excited to be partnering with Hannaford’s and the Good Shepard Food Bank.  Their generosity allows us to provide support for families dealing with hunger issues.  If students are experiencing hunger at home and at school, educational growth and learning will be impacted.” 

Hannaford Supermarkets is donating $40,000 to support this School Pantry and sponsor child hunger programs in several other communities in southern Maine. Thanks to the child hunger program gift from Hannaford, Good Shepherd Food Bank will be able to expand current programs to new sites throughout Maine and ensure program sites have adequate capacity to operate sustainably.

Currently, the Food Bank supports 14 School Pantry sites in 6 counties across Maine.
 

“Hannaford is proud to fund this new initiative for fighting hunger in Biddeford,” said Barrett Johnson, Manager of the Biddeford Hannaford Supermarket & Pharmacy. “Our store has strong, ongoing relationships with traditional Biddeford food pantries, and Hannaford as a whole supports hunger relief in Maine every day.  The pantry within JFK Memorial will give us a new tool for feeding hungry children here in Biddeford.”

Nearly one in four Maine children is not getting the nutritious food they need to live a healthy life and learn in school. Good Shepherd Food Bank is working diligently to provide food for Maine children when they are most vulnerable – after school, on weekends and vacations, and during the summer. In addition to the School Pantry program, the Food Bank operates a BackPack program, which provides bags of food for weekends, and the Summer Food Service program, which provides free summer lunch.

About Good Shepherd Food Bank
The largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for Mainers facing hunger by soliciting food donations and purchasing food at wholesale prices, then distributing the food to more than 600 partner agencies statewide.  Since 1981, the Food Bank has partnered with businesses, civic groups, farmers and other nonprofits to alleviate hunger and build community relationships.  In 2012, the Food Bank distributed 13 million pounds of food to families and individuals throughout Maine. Website:  www.feedingmaine.org; Phone:  (207) 782-3554; Facebook: www.facebook.com/feedingmaine; Twitter: www.twitter.com/feedingmaine.

About Hannaford Supermarkets
Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 183 stores in the Northeast. Stores are located in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. All Hannaford stores feature Guiding Stars, America’s first storewide nutrition navigation system, and most stores have full-service pharmacies. Hannaford employs more than 26,000 associates. Additional information can be found at www.hannaford.com.

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