Hannaford gives food bank a boost

At a time when the cost of living, and eating, is stretching the budgets of many residents, Hannaford is reaching out to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.

The Maine-based supermarket chain has made donations to the food bank before, said Executive Director Mark Quandt. But this year, he said, the donation, which Hannaford's Community Specialist Tara Morgan said totaled nearly $72,000, was made in several different forms.

According to Morgan, There are a number of components to this donation.

One of those components was a $25,000 donation during the holiday season, as part of Hannaford's 125th anniversary, which it celebrated this year. In celebrating the anniversary, the chain donated $25,000 to five food banks in the northeast.

Then on Wednesday, Feb. 11, the supermarket donated more.

Twenty-thousand dollars worth of Hannaford gift cards were donated, along with 1,600 Fund a Feast boxes, which contained basic food essentials, with a total value of $16,000, Morgan said. The boxes were sold during the holiday season for $10 per box, and allowed the customer to either keep the box for themselves, or donate the box to a local pantry. The donation program ran for 12 weeks leading up to the new year.

Along with the donation also came 4,000 boxes of Hannaford brand cereal and 3,600 cans of soup, which Morgan said were valued at $11,000.

While Quandt said he knew about some of the items Hannaford was donating, namely, the cash donation and gift cards, the food bank did not know about the food boxes, or the cereal and soup, which Quandt said will come to great use for the nearly 400 pantries the food bank serves.

"This donation has a tremendous impact because it also covers all aspects," said Quandt. "The kickoff gift helped support our operation, the cereal and soup -- that's just basic stuff we need. Especially the cereal whenever we have it, it goes pretty quick."

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