Hannaford Supermarkets donates $50,000 to expand on-campus food pantries at community colleges in New Hampshire
MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – Hannaford Supermarkets today announced $50,000 in donations to expand and enhance food pantries for students at community colleges in New Hampshire.
The funding will enable the seven community colleges served by the Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges to expand and renovate campus food pantries with new refrigeration and freezer equipment, as well as with additional food storage space for stocking pantries with nutritious food. The funding is anticipated to benefit hundreds of students throughout New Hampshire who experience food insecurity.
The donation is one component of Hannaford’s Fuel Kids at School initiative, a more than $1 million commitment to directly address food insecurity and improve access to fresh and healthy food through the establishment of food pantries for students in New England and New York.
According to U.S. News and World Report, 38 percent of students at two-year colleges and 29 percent of students at four-year colleges experience food insecurity, which is consistently higher than that of the overall population.
“There are many demands facing college students, but one often overlooked challenge is choosing between preparing themselves for the future and getting the nourishment their minds and bodies need,” said Hannaford Supermarkets Vice President of Retail Operations Todd Bullen. “Our Fuel Kids at School program seeks to eliminate this barrier by supporting students on their pathway to success. We thank our partners at the Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges for the work they do each day to increase food access for students in their communities.”
The Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges will utilize $30,000 of the overall $50,000 donation to support its seven college campuses with individual needs related to their food pantries, including making improvements to existing pantries and providing equipment, such as freezers, refrigeration units and storage.
“Food insecurity is a top challenge for many of our students today and can be a barrier to their studies and completing their education,” said Executive Director of The Foundation for New Hampshire Community Colleges Tim Allison. “We are grateful to Hannaford for their critical support and commitment to addressing food insecurity among New Hampshire students. This partnership will make an immediate impact by providing colleges with financial support to ensure they can better meet these needs at the local level.”
Amongst the New Hampshire colleges receiving funding is Great Bay Community College in the seacoast, which will relocate its existing food pantry to a larger and more accessible location, thereby doubling the amount of food available for students each week. The new space, which was formerly a conference room, will increase capacity for meats, fresh produce, dry goods, household cleaning supplies and hygiene products. The new pantry will also have capacity to play a role in local food rescue programs.
The remaining $20,000 will support the purchase of Hannaford gift cards for distribution to food insecure students at seven community colleges throughout the state. At Manchester Community College, student support counselors will provide gift cards for food-insecure students and ensure students’ access to the campus food pantry.
“This gift card program will be invaluable for our students, many of whom are working multiple jobs, caring for children or other family members, and who are pursuing their education amongst many other demands,” said Kristen Butterfield-Ferrell, Student Support Counselor at Manchester Community College. “We are so grateful to Hannaford Supermarkets for helping us help our students in the ways they need to support their academic and future success.”
Since its introduction in 2019, Hannaford’s Fuel Kids at School program has provided funding for the establishment of more than 150 food pantries at schools throughout New England and New York. Hannaford continues to support the pantries through regular food and product donations in partnership with its food bank partners.
In addition to the $50,000 donation in New Hampshire, Hannaford recently announced a $50,000 donation to the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges, which will distribute the funds across its six campuses to expand and supply food pantries with nutritious food. In 2020, the program donated $35,000 to the Foundation for Maine Community Colleges, which used the funding to establish and expand food pantries for students across the state’s seven community colleges.
For more information about the Hannaford Fuel Kids at School program, visit Hannaford.com/HannafordHelps.