Funding to support continued operation of VeggieVanGo program, which provides fresh and nutritious produce to schools statewide
Barre, Vt. – Hannaford Supermarkets today announced a $80,000 donation to the Vermont Foodbank to assist the non-profit organization’s efforts to bridge the gaps in access to nutritious food for young children.
The Vermont Foodbank will utilize the funding to support the continued operation of the VeggieVanGo program, which provides an easy and accessible food source for low-income students and families who may not be able to visit a traditional meal site or food shelf.
The VeggieVanGo program delivers thousands of pounds of fresh produce directly to a total of six schools throughout Vermont on a twice monthly basis. Students and families in need within the school district visit the VeggieVanGo truck to hand select their own produce. The program is anticipated to distribute more than 230,000 pounds of produce this academic year.
“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.”
In addition to produce distribution, the VeggieVanGo program offers cooking demonstrations, vegetable samplings, recipes and cooking tips. The Vermont Foodbank SNAP outreach team is also at each event to provide participants with information about food assistance programs and application support.
Participating schools include Barre City Elementary and Middle School in Barre; Brattleboro High School in Brattleboro; Molly Stark Elementary School in Bennington; Northwest Elementary School in Rutland; St. Johnsbury School in Johnsbury; and Winooski School District in Winooski.
“Hannaford is an incredible force in the fight against hunger,” said Vermont Foodbank CEO John Sayles. “Their commitment to ensuring that all Vermonters have access to healthy food makes such a difference in the lives of our neighbors. Because of Hannaford, thousands of people throughout our state will have access to the food and resources they need to put healthy meals on the table for their families. We are truly grateful to have Hannaford as a partner in this important work.”
The donation to the Vermont Foodbank is one component of a $500,000 commitment by Hannaford to child nutrition throughout New England and New York. 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 Hannaford Chef’s Table includes Kerry Altiero, owner of Café Miranda in Rockland, ME; Kathy Gunst, food journalist and cookbook author based in NH; Ric Orlando, owner of New World Bistro Bar in Albany, NY; 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 Vermont Foodbank
The Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food and promoting health through a network of 215 food shelves, meal sites, senior centers and after-school programs, and directly to families, children, older adults and individuals at schools and hospitals. In 2017, the Vermont Foodbank distributed nearly 12 million pounds of food to 153,100 Vermonters. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation. Learn more at www.vtfoodbank.org