AUBURN – Good Shepherd Food Bank today announced that it will award the 2017 JoAnn Pike Humanitarian Award to Hannaford Supermarkets in honor of the company’s exceptional service to the community. The award will be presented at a celebratory dinner at the Food Bank on April 6.
Each year Good Shepherd Food Bank selects an award recipient in honor of its founder, JoAnn Pike. This year the Food Bank is inviting the community to come together to honor a company that has exhibited leadership in Maine for decades and has partnered with Good Shepherd Food Bank since the organization’s early years. The event also gives supporters an opportunity to connect with the Food Bank’s mission of ending hunger in Maine.
Nearly 16 percent of Maine households face hunger, according to USDA statistics, including almost one in four Maine children. Good Shepherd Food Bank is committed to working with partners across the state to find solutions to the problem of hunger.
“It’s difficult to calculate Hannaford’s impact on hunger relief efforts in Maine and across their footprint – their support is immeasurable,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “It’s safe to say that the Food Bank would not be the organization we are today without Hannaford. We’re honored to give this award to Hannaford in recognition of decades of community support.”
Hannaford has formalized its community efforts under a program called “Hannaford Helps.” Under this program, the company donates several million dollars a year and provides in-kind support to schools, hospitals, children’s programs, community wellness initiatives, and more.
Hunger-relief is the core of the Hannaford Helps program. In 2016, Hannaford donated more than 25 million pounds of food to food pantries, meal programs, and food banks across its five-state footprint. Nonperishable food is donated to regional food banks, including Good Shepherd Food Bank, throughout the year. In addition, Hannaford stores make daily donations of fresh food, such as produce, meat, and bread to local food pantries.
Hannaford has been working with regional food banks and pantries to further improve systems for recovering harder-to-handle fresh items, making sure that there can be regular pickups and ensuring pantries have the processes and equipment to handle that food safely. The company has either donated or helped pantries and food banks purchase vans, refrigerated truck trailers, refrigeration units, and other equipment.
“Hannaford Supermarkets is honored to be recognized for the strong partnership we have maintained with Good Shepherd since its founding 35 years ago and our company’s deep commitment to fighting hunger here in Maine,” said Hannaford President Mike Vail. “This relationship is built on the passion of current and retired Hannaford associates who believe that no one should go without the nutritious food they need.”
The JoAnn Pike Humanitarian Award Dinner will be held at Good Shepherd Food Bank’s 54,000 square foot distribution center in Auburn, which will provide guests with the opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at the facility that sent 21 million meals across the state in 2016. On all other days, the facility functions as a warehouse; on April 6, it will be transformed into a fine dining room with 12 of Maine’s finest chefs providing dinner.
About Good Shepherd Food Bank
As the largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for Mainers facing hunger by distributing nutritious food to more than 400 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, schools, and senior programs. Together with its network, the Food Bank leads a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education, and strategic partnerships. In 2016, the Food Bank distributed more than 21 million meals to families, children, and seniors in need throughout Maine. Website: www.feedingmaine.org; Phone: (207) 782-3554; Facebook: www.facebook.com/feedingmaine; Twitter: www.twitter.com/feedingmaine.
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