Hannaford Supermarkets will donate $250,000 to support local farms impacted by COVID-19 across New England and New York.

All told, 66 Vermont farmers will receive funding via American Farmland Trust grant program.

The donation will offer direct support to small, local farmers and producers who have experienced market disruptions as their primary buyers and points of sale — including farmers markets, restaurants and schools — have closed or drastically decreased operations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“As a company founded by Maine farmers more than 137 years ago, Hannaford has deep connections to the agriculture industry. We have long highlighted locally-grown products in all of our stores and this donation is an extension of our commitment to the farmers and producers who serve such an integral role in nourishing our communities, preserving farmland and encouraging sustainability,” said Hannaford Supermarkets President Mike Vail. “We hope this donation will support farmers during this difficult time and enable them to continue providing high-quality, fresh food to our communities for years to come.”

Since its inception in March, the American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund has provided critical funding to more than 1,000 local farms throughout the U.S. The grants are designed to provide farmers with resources to modify their business model to serve the current marketplace, such as creating new online storefronts and socially-distant distribution sites, or enhancing safety precautions and sanitary practices for workers.

“American Farmland Trust is grateful for Hannaford’s support of the Farmer Relief Fund. Their investment in 250 farms across New England and New York comes at a critical time,” said Ryan Lauer, director of corporate partnerships for American Farmland Trust. “With many farmers facing reduced traffic at farmers markets, fewer sales to restaurants and an uncertain future — Hannaford is helping to stabilize operations for farmers that produce a diverse set of products and put food on our tables, a community well worth the investment.”

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