Hannaford Supermarkets announced today an expansion of its ‘Fuel Kids at School’ pantry initiative to Maine’s community colleges with a donation of $35,000 to establish and expand pantries at all seven community college campuses. The donation will be used for startup and buildout of pantry and storage spaces as well as food costs.
Based on research conducted with Preble Street in Portland, system officials estimate that at least 40% of students enrolled at the colleges are food insecure.
“This generous donation not only helps keep these food pantries stocked, it provides for freezers and refrigerators that will allow these food pantries to provide a range of food options for years to come,” said Maine Community College System President David Daigler. “Our students can’t learn if they’re hungry. These food pantries, many of them student-run, are a critical resource for our students and their families.”
More than $15,000 of the donation will be used to stock food with the remaining funds going toward refrigerators, freezers, and renovations at five of the campuses. (Editor’s note: For a breakdown by campus, please refer to the graph at the end of the release.) The Colleges will work directly with Good Shepherd Food Bank on preparatory and operational logistics, including food safety training and inspections and food purchases.
“By removing barriers and bringing food right to where people already are and through folks they already trust is such a win-win,” said Shannon Coffin, Vice President of Community Partnerships at Good Shepherd Food Bank.
The donation is a part of Hannaford’s $1 million commitment to ‘Fuel Kids at School’ pantry initiative launched in November 2019 to establish 90 school food pantries across the northeast, including 30 in Maine. Since then, all 30 school-based food pantries have been established at Head Start preschools across the state in partnership with Good Shepherd Food Bank.
Watch this video to hear directly from students, college leaders, and community partners about the importance of providing access to food at Maine’s community colleges across Maine: https://bcove.video/3jVHeHH
This story is part of the Maine Department of Education’s Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea email it to Rachel at firstname.lastname@example.org.