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“Greater Than Groceries” | How Hannaford Supermarkets Goes Above and Beyond for our Neighbors in Need

Recently, our friends at Hannaford Supermarkets debuted a commercial that takes shoppers on a creative tour of their sustainable business practices.

“Greater Than Groceries” is a new campaign, but at Good Shepherd Food Bank, we’ve benefitted from the meaning and business practices behind it since 1983. That was the year our founder JoAnn Pike got her first meeting with Hannaford’s senior leadership team and requested regular donations of canned goods and anything else their stores could spare.

Shortly thereafter, Hannaford became our largest, most consistent donor. In the 36 years since, Hannaford has continued to support our mission in ways the company is too modest to talk about but every Mainer needs to hear.

In FY2019, Hannaford donated over 10 million pounds of food to Good Shepherd Food Bank
Just like the ad above, Hannaford’s support of the Food Bank is “Greater Than Groceries,” but they still donate a LOT of them. Of the 10 million pounds of food they donated to us last year, the majority came from individual stores in the form of fresh meat and produce approaching their expiration dates but still perfectly flavorful and healthy. Hannaford employees set this food aside for volunteers from local Good Shepherd Food Bank partners including food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and community meal programs.  These volunteers pick up the food at Hannaford stores and bring it to their facilities where they inspect it, document it and make it available to Mainers in need. Thanks to Hannaford and partners like the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program, an apple that was on the shelf of the Hannaford store in Brunswick at 4 a.m. can be eaten for a snack by a food-insecure child in Topsham at 2 p.m.

Over the past five years alone, Hannaford has donated over $1 million to support Good Shepherd Food Bank programs
As our friend Dixie Shaw from Catholic Charities likes to say, “it takes a lot of money to give away free food.” Fortunately for us, the Hannaford community relations team is as generous with financial contributions as they are with food donations. Their consistent generosity has helped Good Shepherd Food Bank to fund several important programs, most notably:

Cooking Matters

To help low-income Mainers learn how to plan and prepare healthy, nutritious meals on a limited food budget, we offer cooking classes and nutrition education through our Cooking Matters program, which is annually funded in large part by Hannaford. In FY2019 we hosted more than 300 ”Cooking Matters at the Store” tours at local Hannaford locations where our instructors guided participants on how to save money and read packaging labels to make healthier purchases. Participants receive a free gift card at the end of the tour, provided in full by Hannaford.

Hannaford’s support also enabled us to offer 275 six-week cooking programs where participants learn to prepare simple, healthy meals their families enjoy eating. At the end of each of the six classes in each course, participants are sent home with a bag of groceries to help them replicate the meal at home. As you might guess, those bags of groceries are made possible by Hannaford.

Youth and Family Initiatives

While the Food Bank serves all Mainers, we are committed to ensuring that Maine children, in particular, have access to the food they need to learn, grow and thrive. Targeted programs that provide food access to kids where and when they need it include the School Pantry Program, Backpack Program, Kid’s Café Program and Summer Food Service Program. Hannaford’s support over the years has helped us establish dozens of new pantry locations at schools all over the state, making an impact for kids and their families in local communities.

Hannaford employees from different departments share their knowledge with Good Shepherd Food Bank staff
Each year, dozens of companies throughout the state send their employees to our Auburn distribution center to volunteer for us on company time. As grateful as we are for every hour from every person, our friends at Hannaford have volunteering down to a science–literally and figuratively. From food safety and information technology to document management and maximizing the efficiency of our supply chain, Good Shepherd Food Bank receives consulting services from the experts at Hannaford at every level of our organization. Bruce Daman, who recently retired from Hannaford’s marketing team, and Dyana Tull, from Hannaford’s Retail Business Services, LLC division, serve on our board of directors and President and CEO Mike Vail serves as an advisory team member for our Food For All campaign, the capital campaign that is allowing us to renovate our Hampden distribution center to better serve central, northern, and Downeast Maine.

The entire team at Good Shepherd Food Bank thanks each and every Hannaford employee for the generous and dedicated support provided year after year. To us, “Greater Than Groceries” is a lot more than great marketing–it’s the perfect description of our nearly 40-year partnership in the fight to end hunger in Maine.