Hannaford is helping older adults throughout its footprint gain better access to food and social connection.
Hannaford Supermarkets is taking steps to help older adults in New England and New York gain a path toward better health through its new Connection, Health and Equity Through Food program. The initiative, which has been kicked off through a $1.3 million donation to the Maine Council on Aging (MCOA), aims to enhance access to food and social connection.
The new program sits under the banner of Hannaford’s “Eat Well, Be Well – A Path to Better Health” initiative and will fund organizations and projects that support the needs of diverse older adults, including the BIPOC community, LGBTQ+ individuals, adults with disabilities, immigrants and military veterans, as well as those living in rural areas with limited access to transportation. The program will allow MCOA to evaluate opportunities to distribute micro-grants to organizations, programs and projects serving older people throughout New England and New York.
“As a grocery retailer, we understand the pivotal role that food plays in our overall wellness. And we know older adults face unique challenges when it comes to physical and mental health,” said Mike Vail, president of Hannaford. “Hannaford believes creating healthy communities requires an investment in initiatives that help all members of our community thrive, including older people. We are pleased to partner with the Maine Council on Aging as we work together to enhance the well-being and quality of life for older individuals.”
The Connection, Health and Equity Through Food program will also include a series of webinars focused on addressing food insecurity and social isolation in older adults, as well as the establishment of a Network Advisory Committee to recruit partners. Additionally, MCOA will produce a monthly newsletter and educate Hannaford associates on how to better serve older customers and meet the needs of older associates.
[Read more: "Walgreens Study Finds Seniors Less Socially Active After Pandemic"]
“Too many older people are struggling to meet their basic needs and many feel invisible and alone in this struggle,” said Jess Maurer, executive director of MCOA. “This support from Hannaford will not only help solve some of the most challenging issues facing older people in our region but also sends a strong message to older people that they are seen and not forgotten, that they remain valued members of our communities.”
Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford operates 187 stores in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, and employs nearly 30,000 associates. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century and its 10 Most Sustainable Grocers.