MAINE, USA — Organizations in the state are stepping up to help Mainers in need during the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.
The New England supermarket chain, Hannaford, is donating $225,000 dollars to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Preble Street in Portland and the Bangor Area Homeless Center.
Hannaford tells NEWS CENTER Maine, they wanted to support some of the most at-risk members of the community during this pandemic.
A large portion of the donation will go to organizations that work with homeless people, to help the individuals at the shelters meet their basic needs and stay healthy.
"It'll be money to help them with their specifics, taking care of their nutritional needs as well as to help with social distancing in that organization and obviously to help ensure that we can have a safe place for people to stay," said Jim Hamilton, the Vice President of Retail Operations for the Eastern Division of Hannaford.
"We quickly understood their challenges during this time, and not only with social distancing but also the need at a higher level to keep people healthy at this very demanding time," said Hamilton.
"That basically breaks down to supporting the organizations that are going to get food to those that are most in need," said Hamilton.
The Bangor Area Homeless Shelter has 38 beds, a soup kitchen distributing meals most of the day, a food pantry two days a week, and in the winter time, a warming center.
The shelter says their biggest challenge these days is making sure everyone is following the CDC guidelines.
"How to gain social distancing to decrease our population density," said Boyd Kronholm the Executive Director at the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.
Social Distancing Video
That forced the shelter in Bangor to close its warming center earlier that they planned for and implemented a 'shelter-in-place' order, to try and keep people COVID-19 free.
"We've also had huge increases of the people we are feeding not only at lunchtime but our food pantry..we are seeing triple the traffic," said Kronholm.
Reasons, why the donation by Hannaford at the Bangor shelter is going to help, keep food in stock and...
"Help us keep the place cleaner and safer, as well as help us meet the goals of paying some of the bills that you have as a non-profit," said Kronholm.
The supermarket chain has also implemented new measures inside the stores to keep everyone healthy including:
- letting in a limited number of people at one time
- enforcing social distancing while shopping
- using stickers to mark the 6-foot separation requirement
- enhancing their cleaning
- recently implemented one-way aisles to ensure people are keeping a safe distance.
People who wish to make donations to support these organizations may do so online at:
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
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