BURLINGTON- The number of Vermonters impacted by the coronavirus continues to rise. Since the pandemic began in March, the need for money and food has become critical.

Hannaford Supermarkets announced on Thursday morning, an initiative to help families in New England and New York, who have been impacted by the pandemic. The supermarket chain will be donating a quarter of a Million dollars, of which Twenty Thousand dollars will be used to support families in Vermont.

“At Hannaford, we believe that the family unit is core to our communities, and we are pleased to support families and children with this donation throughout Vermont”, says Samara Bushey, Hannaford Supermarkets Vermont director of operations.

Rebecca is one of those people. Two years ago she was homeless living in her car, that was a reality. But with the help of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, she has been able to get her life back together. “They have helped me with vouchers to be able to get furniture for my home. I’ve been able to provide stable and healthy environments for my eight year old autistic son, whom I have now. And I’ve also really been able to just relax finally.”

The donated money will be used to increase access to housing, food and employment opportunities for families in the greater Burlington, Bennington and Rutland areas. Ten Thousand dollars each will go to the CVOEO and the BROC Community Action in Southwestern Vermont.

“This is an amazing gift, this is an amazing donation,” says Travis Poulin, director of Chittenden County Community Action. “And I truly hope you realize just how amazing it is to receive this kind of donation and how we’re going to be able to use it, to help people get into long term stable housing.”

BROC Community Action CEO, Tom Donahue says, “When we go home at night, we typically go home to a home or an apartment, and we open the refrigerator and decide what we’re having to eat, and frankly a lot of the folks we serve don’t have one or both of those options.”