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December 4, 2018

Hannaford gives $50K to Bangor Area Homeless Shelter

About Hannaford Supermarkets

Hannaford Supermarkets, based in Scarborough, operates 181 stores in the Northeast. Stores are located in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. It has 26,000 employees.

About Bangor Area Homeless Shelter

The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter provides emergency shelter and supportive services to people who are homeless or at risk. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. The shelter's goal is to ensure all guests are transitioned into suitable, stable, housing in 30 days or less. Twenty-one full and part-time employees, along with scores of volunteers, work to provide shelter, crisis intervention, hot meals and a safe environment to the homeless people who stay there.

Hannaford Supermarkets plans to present a $50,000 check to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter in Bangor on Wednesday to support a warming center for unsheltered people.

It's the second year in a row Hannaford has donated $50,000 to the shelter and the cumulative $100,000 gift makes Hannaford the largest corporate donor in the history of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.

"When the temperature drops below freezing, the homeless sometimes take refuge in the lobby of the Bangor Police Department, an emergency room or the Penobscot County Jail," said Boyd A. Kronholm, executive director of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. "Thanks to this generous gift from Hannaford, we will be able to launch a new pilot initiative designed to help keep homeless people safe when weather conditions become life threatening."

To keep unsheltered people safe, Bangor Area Homeless Shelter will open its day room from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. so that up to 35 people can stay warm. Coffee and snacks will be available. To access this service, individuals must be sober and drug free at the time.

The plan is to open the warming center in mid-December and keep it open every evening until the end of February.

"The generosity of Hannaford is the only reason we're able to offer this warming center. We wouldn't be able to offer this service without them," said Kronholm.

'Basic human need'

Tim Grasse, Hannaford's director of operations for the Bangor area, said Hannaford, in making its donation, recognized that "staying warm is a basic human need."

"Hannaford is committed to partnering with great organizations like this one to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors who are struggling financially," Grasse said. "Together, we can ensure everyone in this community has the food and shelter they need."

David Casavant, president of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter board of directors, noted that last year's donation from Hannaford was the largest corporate gift ever received by the shelter.

"This year they matched that gift," he said. "These gifts, along with their support of the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter's annual "Hike for the Homeless" and their assistance in stocking our food pantry, is making our community a better place."

Private donations are essential

In 2017 the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter provided temporary shelter for 396 overnight guests and was able to place 134 of them in stable housing.

The shelter also helps address food insecurity. Over the past 12 months, the organization has served nearly 10,500 meals in their soup kitchen and supplied over 100 households with food through their pantry.

The need for assistance with this effort is not decreasing, the shelter said in a news release.

According to the shelter, reduced government funding is making private donations all the more essential. "Too many members of our community are in need of a clean, warm, safe place to stay; a hot meal; and other supportive services," Kronholm said. "Hannaford's generosity is helping to sustain our ongoing efforts to provide food, shelter, crisis intervention, and connections to services, including medical and psychiatric care, to those who need it."

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