Hannaford donates $250,000 to support local farms impacted by COVID-19

Contributed photoDeer Creek Collective Farm in Accord.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — Hannaford Supermarkets announced a $250,000 donation to support farms throughout New York and New England adversely impacted by the coronavirus global health pandemic.

As a result of the donation, a total of 250 farms in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Massachusetts will receive funding via the American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund, which provides farmers with grants to help them navigate challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis.

The donation will directly support small local farmers and producers who have experienced market disruptions as their primary buyers and points of sale, including farmers markets, restaurants and schools, have closed or drastically decreased operations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“As a company founded by Maine farmers more than 137 years ago, Hannaford has deep connections to the agriculture industry. We have long highlighted locally-grown products in all of our stores and this donation is an extension of our commitment to the farmers and producers who serve such an integral role in nourishing our communities, preserving farmland and encouraging sustainability,” said Hannaford Supermarkets President Mike Vail. “We hope this donation will support farmers during this difficult time and enable them to continue providing high-quality, fresh food to our communities for years to come.”

Since its inception in March, the American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund has provided critical funding to more than 1,000 local farms throughout the U.S. The grants are designed to provide farmers with resources to modify their business model to serve the current marketplace, such as creating new online storefronts and socially-distant distribution sites, or enhancing safety precautions and sanitary practices for workers.

“American Farmland Trust is grateful for Hannaford’s support of the Farmer Relief Fund. Their investment in 250 farms across New England and New York comes at a critical time,” said American Farmland Trust Director of Corporate Partnerships Ryan Lauer. “With many farmers facing reduced traffic at farmers markets, fewer sales to restaurants and an uncertain future - Hannaford is helping to stabilize operations for farmers that produce a diverse set of products and put food on our tables, a community well worth the investment.”

A total of 51 New York farms will receive funding as a result of the donation from Hannaford, including the Deer Creek Collective Farm in Accord, which produces herbs, vegetables, fruit, flowers and eggs. The farm will use the funding to create an online store for customers as an alternative to in-person markets or distribution sites.

“The pandemic has greatly impacted our ability to participate in spring events and markets that provide a substantial amount of our income to help get the farm started for the season. We usually participate in spring events that we use to pay for our farming supplies and seeds for the season. In addition, restaurants and shops that we usually sell to have closed their doors, which has resulted in a halt in sales to those outlets,” said Katharine Sidelnik of Deer Creek Collective Farm.

Individuals who wish to make donations to the American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund may do so online at https://farmland.salsalabs.org/farmerrelieffund/index.html.

Since March 2020, Hannaford has donated $1 million to COVID-19 relief efforts, including hunger relief and homeless outreach organizations.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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