RAYMOND — Hannaford Supermarkets announced a $185,150 donation to New Hampshire Hunger Solutions which will allow the non-profit organization to establish food pantries in about a dozen schools throughout New Hampshire.

The donation is one component of an overall $1 million commitment from Hannaford through its new “Fuel Kids for School” initiative, which is designed to directly address food insecurity and improve access to fresh and healthy food across the Northeast. In partnership with area hunger relief organizations, Hannaford will establish over two years, 90 school food pantries across New Hampshire and other northeast states.

“While Hannaford is in the grocery business, feeding the community through selling products isn’t all that we are or aspire to be,” said Jim Hamilton, vice president of operations for Hannaford. “As a part of the community, we have a longstanding commitment to aiding hunger relief in our neighborhoods, particularly when it comes to bridging gaps in access to nutritious food for children. This investment in school pantries is one step in deepening our commitment to hunger relief and to meet young people where they’re at by making it easy for them to access nutritious food.”

Intending to serve as a vital and convenient resource to students and families in need while also increasing access to healthy and nutritious food, the in-school pantries are dedicated spaces where students can select food they enjoy based on their preferences and cooking abilities to provide nourishment both during and after the school day.

The kick-off took place at Raymond High School with students, educators and administrators in attendance.

“The goal of education is to help every student thrive and to develop into a strong, capable and well-rounded individual who will be well prepared to live a great life and participate successfully in society. Food insecurity makes that goal more difficult to achieve at every step of the way,” said Dr. Tina McCoy, Superintendent of School Administrative Union 33. “Hannaford is working with people and organizations across our region to make sure that hunger will not keep any student from succeeding in school or in life.”

During the announcement, Elaine Van Dyke of N.H. Hunger Solutions said she expected resources targeted at establishing about a dozen school-based food pantries in high schools and potentially another school pantry at a community college in New Hampshire.

She added, “Prosperity hides poverty and, as a state, we must be proud of New Hampshire’s prosperity, for it is this prosperity that puts us in a perfect position to tackle our hidden poverty and hunger.”

Hannaford Supermarkets has a longstanding commitment to supporting hunger relief in its communities.

In 2018, Hannaford donated nearly 26 million pounds of food throughout the Northeast, including nearly 4 million pounds in New Hampshire; and raised $1.1 million in partnership with its shoppers to feed individuals in need through the annual Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger program.

Earlier this month, Hannaford announced that it has donated more than $1 million to non-profits throughout New England and New York as a result of its reusable bag program, a portion of which is dedicated to hunger relief organizations and has funded more than 1.8 million meals to date.

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