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“Hannaford Helps” In Ways You Never Knew

It's hard to walk through a Hannaford supermarket without seeing a "Hannaford Helps" sign or display somewhere in the store. Especially around the holiday season or back to school. Over the years, this innovative community giving campaign has raised millions of dollars for schools and sent millions of pre-packaged meals to hungry families. But that's just one small way that Hannaford gives back to the community. Behind the scenes at their Scarborough, Maine headquarters beats a philanthropic heart of gold that most Mainers don't know about but thousands have benefited from. In recognition of their incredible generosity, Hannaford just received the highest honor from the Good Shepherd Shepherd Food Bank, The JoAnn Pike Humanitarian of the Year Award.

The video above will give you a powerful overview of Hannaford's charitable efforts. At Backyard Farms, we're proud to share some of our favorite facts and stories about our friends at Hannaford that they rarely talk about themselves. These are just a few of the countless reaons why Hannaford truly deserves the JoAnn Pike Humanitarian of the Year Award as well as a standing ovation from anyone who believes that successful businesses should give back to their communities.

Hannaford has been the #1 donor to Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine for 33 consecutive years

It all started in 1983 when a compassionate and driven woman named JoAnn Pike asked Hannaford if they could donate dented cans of food to the food pantry she ran out of her garage. Since then, Hannaford has donated millions of pounds of food to Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine. But money and cash aren't the only ways Hannaford is generous with the food bank. When JoAnn received her first used commercial freezer from a wholesaler that was upgrading its facility, Hannaford sent a team of engineers and contractors to help Good Shepherd Food Bank properly insulate the floor and prepare the original warehouse to handle the new piece of equipment. Today, Hannaford employees continue to advise food bank staff on everything from logistics and trucking to food safety and inventory management.

Hannaford's in-house advertising agency re-designed the Good Shepherd Food Bank logo for FREE

Bruce Daman has been Hannaford's Director of Brand Communications for 11 years. Bruce joined the board of the Good Shepherd Food Bank in 2015 and his timing couldn't have been more perfect as President Kristen Miale and the board were just beginning the conversation about rebranding the food bank.

While the illlustration of Jesus tending his flock supported the Good Shepherd name and mission, Kristen and the board felt the food bank needed a logo that every Mainer could understand and relate to. After helping Good Shepherd execute a re-branding initiative, Bruce challenged his team at the Hannaford home office to create a new logo that conveyed the organization's new tagline: "Partnering to End Hunger." After several iterations, Bruce's team developed a simple illustration with a warm, welcoming look and feel.

The difference is striking. It's cleaner, easier to read and passes the all important "looks great on a truck" test. On a deeper level, the apple is an appropriate symbol for the abundance of harvest time in New England and the freehand illustration reflects the personal touch provided by all Good Shepherd Food Bank staff and volunteers.

Thanks to Hannaford's support, 20,000 Mainers have attended a Cooking Matters Class

Cooking Matters is an innovative program that teaches low income families to prepare healthy meals on a tight budget. In addition to providing food for the glasses and gift cards for the students, Hannaford has also provided food bank staff with the opportunity to promote Cooking Matters in their stores throughout the state. Many Hannaford customers donate to the program on the spot or share information with people they know who could benefit from the instruction. By giving Cooking Matters instructors a presence in their stores, Hannaford has enabled the food bank to share the program with thousands of people who otherwise would not have been reached.

In 2016 alone, Hannaford donated $40 million in food and cash to charity

40 million dollars in food and cash. That's an astonishing amount. And unlike the early days, the food Hannaford is donating is not dented or close to its expiration date. Over the last three decades, Hannaford's inventory control has improved to the point where dented cans account for a very small portion of Hannaford's donations. The vast majority of their contribtions are premium quality products that they give because it's the right thing to do. As Hannaford Consumer Affairs Specialist Sherri Stevens said in the video above, “When you know that you have neighbors that are food insecure, standing back is just not an option.”

For these reasons and many more than we have space to mention, all of us at Backyard Farms are proud to congratulate Hannaford for winning the 2017 JoAnn Pike Humanitarian Award. It's the 10th anniversary of this award and appropriately enough, the very first recipient was...Hannaford. As you can see in the photo collage below, it was a spectacular evening that transformed Good Shepherd's no-frills warehouse in Auburn into an elegant dining hall where some of Maine's most talented chefs generously donated their time and expertise to prepare the meal. If you'd like to experience this one-of-a-kind event yourself, be sure to visit the Good Shepherd Food Bank news page or subscribe to their news alerts so you'll be the first to know when next year's winner is announced. Congratulations, Hannaford!