Hannaford Supermarkets Community Relations Specialist Brian Fabre (right) is joined by Hannaford Chef’s Table Ambassador Ric Orlando (left) to present Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York Executive Director Mark Quandt (center).

Student volunteers stock backpacks with nutritious food in preparation for distribution.

$15,000 to support BackPack Program at Heatly School, provide students in need with healthy food on the weekends and school breaks through 2022 -‘23 academic year

Albany, N.Y. – Hannaford Supermarkets today announced a $125,000 donation to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York to assist the non-profit organization’s efforts to bridge the gaps in access to nutritious food for young children.

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York will utilize $15,000 of the funding to support the BackPack Program at Heatly School in Green Island, NY, which provides students in need with bags of child-friendly, nutritious food for times when other resources are not available, such as weekends or school vacations.

This component of the donation will provide students in need at Heatly School with 13,500 meals through the 2022-‘23 academic year. The announcement comes only days before the dismissal of students for April break.

“Hannaford has been successful in substantially increasing our donations of fresh food to local food pantries,” said Mike Vail, president of Hannaford Supermarkets. “This support builds on that work and addresses a critical need that our community partners understand well. Many families with children are stressed in meeting basic needs, including the essential need for nutritious food.”

“Once again Hannaford has found a way to make a huge impact on the lives of food insecure children in our area,” said Mark Quandt, Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank. “Their very generous grant will enable us to expand our BackPack Program to hundreds of additional children in schools not currently participating in the program, and also help us reach more children in need in the summer when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. We are very grateful for this new funding and for everything Hannaford does to assist the Food Bank and the people we serve.”

Students are recommended for the BackPack Program by teachers or principals who see first-hand their nutritional needs. The non-descript backpacks are filled with non-perishable and easily consumed food and discreetly distributed to children on the last day before the weekend or a school holiday. Each bag contains six meals – two breakfasts, three lunch/dinner entrees and one miscellaneous meal. Two-thirds of the student body at Heatly School are eligible to receive free and reduced meals.

“Children who are hungry find it difficult to focus on academics. The BackPack Program gives students a sense of security that they won’t go to bed hungry. Thank you to Hannaford for helping us offer our children sustenance,” said Dr. Teresa Thayer Snyder, Superintendent of Green Island Union Free School District.

The donation to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is one component of a $500,000 commitment by Hannaford to child nutrition throughout New York and New England. Half of those dollars are being raised through the all-new Hannaford Chef’s Table program, with a financial match of $250,000 from Hannaford.

The Chef’s Table is a partnership between Hannaford and four local chefs who maintain the same passion for building community and helping home cooks make fresh, affordable meals. The program features affordable recipes using quality and fresh ingredients created by the participating chefs in local Hannaford stores. Shoppers who purchase at least three participating products will trigger a $2 donation from Hannaford to child nutrition efforts, with a guaranteed commitment of $250,000 from Hannaford.

The Capital Region-based participating chef is Ric Orlando, owner of New World Bistro Bar in Albany, NY. Orlando will be featured in Hannaford stores this summer with a focus on seasonal grilling recipes. He is also a longtime supporter of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

“There is deep commitment in the chef community to fighting hunger,” said Orlando. “I’m glad to be part of generating more support for local heroes who do life-changing work for children and families.”

The Hannaford Chef’s Table also includes Kerry Altiero, owner of Café Miranda in Rockland, ME; Kathy Gunst, food journalist and cookbook author based in NH; and David Turin, owner of David’s and David’s Opus 10 in Portland, ME, as well as David’s 388 in South Portland, ME.

Hannaford maintains a steadfast commitment to hunger relief. In 2017, Hannaford donated the equivalent of 20 million meals directly from stores to local food pantries and soup kitchens.

About Hannaford Supermarkets

Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 181 stores in the Northeast. Stores are located in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Hannaford employs more than 26,000 associates. Additional information can be found at www.hannaford.com.

About the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York

The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that collects donated food from the food industry and distributes it to more than 1,000 charitable agencies feeding the hungry in 23 counties of northeastern New York. The food provided by the Regional Food Bank helps to feed over 40,000 people each week. In 2017, the organization distributed over 38 million pounds of food to the hungry. The Regional Food Bank is a member of Feeding America. The organization is supported by foundations, private contributions and fundraising events. For information on services offered by the Regional Food Bank, call (518) 786-3691 or log on to www.regionalfoodbank.net.

About Ric Orlando

Ric Orlando is an active community partner in Albany’s Capital Region. He operates New World Bistro Bar in Albany. Ric has appeared on many cooking shows, including Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Chopped,” NBC’s “Today,” PBS, NPR, Discovery, and Sirius Radio.

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