WINOOSKI, VT – On Friday Hannaford announced a $188,000 donation to the Vermont Foodbank. It is a part of Hannaford’s Fuel Kids at School program that is donating $1 million to support hunger relief efforts at schools in New York and New England.
“Hannaford is really trying to be greater than grocery’s we have a long-standing commitment of giving back to the community and closing gaps for hunger relief,” said Hannaford Supermarkets Vermont Director of Operations Samara Bushey.
The money will directly go to Vermont Foodbanks program called VeggieVanGo which brings healthy food to 13 schools throughout Vermont. VeggieVanGo delivers fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food to students in 13 schools across the state.
John Sayles is the CEO of Vermont Foodbank and he says with Hannaford’s Donation they can expand the program.
“This donation of $188,000 from Hannaford to the Vermont Foodbank is going to nearly double the reach of our VeggieVanGo program of schools in Vermont,” said Sayles.
In 2020, the Academy School in Brattleboro; Spaulding High School in Barre; Washington Village School in Washington; and Woodstock High School in Woodstock will be added to the program. The Donation will also help the Vermont Foodbank introduce a new program called VeggieVanGo+ which will stock the mobile unit with shelf-stable food in addition to fresh produce for distribution during its regular school visits.
Every two weeks food is delivered to the schools. Students and their families can go to the school and pick out all the food they want. While the program is designed mostly for people who otherwise couldn’t afford fresh produce, schools do not ask anyone and it is made accessible to all.
According to Sayles, 15.9% of children in Vermont are food insecure and this program not only helps with food insecure families, but it helps all children do better in school!
“The science is clear that what you eat impacts your brain development particularly for young children,” said Sayles.
The Schools apart of the program feel that it has made a huge difference. “Students really look forward to it they will ask me in the hallways when is it VeggieVanGo day,” said Winooski School District Wellness Coordinator Jaycie Puttlitz.