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Vermont Public Radio To Rally Listeners In Fight Against Hunger

Contributions to Vermont Public Radio during its September membership drive will also help Vermont families in need of food assistance, thanks to a special partnership with the Vermont Foodbank and Hannaford Supermarkets.

For every gift to VPR during the campaign, Hannaford Supermarkets will donate 10 meals to the Vermont Foodbank.

“As a statewide organization dedicated to public service, VPR is deeply rooted in the communities we serve,” said Robin Turnau, VPR president and CEO. “VPR feels a responsibility to make our region a better place to live, in ways that go beyond our programming. We think this partnership will resonate with listeners who share our desire to support neighbors in need.”

A recent study by the Vermont Foodbank and Feeding America shows that 1 in 4 people, or an estimated 153,100 people, in Vermont turn to food shelves and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families. This includes 33,900 children and 26,010 seniors.

Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, serving Vermont through a network of 270 food shelves, meal sites, shelters, senior centers and youth programs. In FY14, the Vermont Foodbank distributed more than 8 million pounds of quality food to more than 153,000 Vermonters in need of food assistance.

Food is gathered from Vermont farms, manufacturers, grocery stores, businesses, individuals, schools, and a national network of food banks.  Food is then distributed with the Foodbank’s fleet of trucks to 270 food shelves, meals sites, shelters, senior centers, and youth programs around Vermont. 

“The Vermont Foodbank is thrilled to be the beneficiary of VPR’s September Partnership Drive,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO. “With generous support from our long-time partners, Hannaford Supermarkets and VPR, we are giving VPR listeners the opportunity to make a real difference in our communities.”

Hannaford Supermarkets operates 17 stores in Vermont and has a deep commitment to hunger relief. Last year, Hannaford donated nearly 2,300 tons of packaged food to partners across the Northeast, including the Vermont Foodbank. Hannaford stores also regularly donate produce, meat, and bread to local food pantries. Through its Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger program, the company partners with customers to help provide nutritious food to those in need. This program has raised about $5.8 million since 2008.

“Hannaford is proud to partner with the Vermont Food Bank and Vermont Public Radio to help feed our neighbors who are struggling financially,” said Ben Theriault, Hannaford’s director of operations in Vermont. “This donation to VPR is a real win for the community because it strengthens an important local source of news and entertainment, while also providing another tool for feeding hungry Vermonters.”

VPR’s membership drive takes place September 3-13, but gifts received ahead of time will be counted towards this partnership as well. Listeners can make a pledge at VPR.net or by calling 1-800-639-6391.

This is the second time VPR has partnered with the Vermont Foodbank. Community fundraising partnerships have become a tradition at Vermont Public Radio. In recent years, VPR also has collaborated with Hunger Free Vermont, the Children’s Literacy Foundation, and the Warmth and CVPS Shareheat programs.