Scarborough Kiwanians Eric and Annalee Rosenblatt help load a truck with 96 hams to be donated to the Scarborough Food Pantry and the Scarborough Schools Backpack Program. Courtesy / Scarborough Kiwanis

Local businesses donate in the fight against the coronavirus crisis

Businesses in Southern Maine have stepped up to offer tens of thousands of dollars in cash donations, food and other essential items to help meet needs that have surfaced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hannaford Supermarkets is donating towards hunger relief and homeless outreach throughout Maine and the northeast to support the most at-risk members of the community during the pandemic: people who rely solely on pantries and shelters or live on the street. In Maine, the supermarket chain is donating $160,000 to Good Shepherd Food Bank, including $100,000 from an earlier donation, and $40,000 to Preble Street homeless shelter in Portland.

“Every day, we are learning more about the impact of this virus and responding together as a community to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hannaford President Mike Vail said. “Our company and our associates are working hard in our grocery stores to meet the most basic needs of our community during this difficult time: food and medicine. We hope that this donation also will help the most vulnerable of our neighbors … ”

Ocean State Job Lot, a discount retailer that operates a store in Falmouth, has contributed $250,000 to a fund dedicated to acquiring critically needed supplies through its global supply chain in response to the pandemic. Gloves, masks, disinfectants, sanitizers and eye protection are being donated to local and state governments, as well as hospital and medical facilities.

The Summit Utilities family of companies – including Summit Natural Gas of Maine – announced a commitment of $80,000 in COVID-19 relief to the communities in which they serve. The focus is on relief efforts for those who have suffered from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, including educational support, emergency food distribution, utility assistance, healthcare, housing and employment support. Summit is also working with customers who may need payment assistance, arrangements or extensions. In addition, the company has suspended natural gas disconnections for nonpayment.

Central Maine Power is donating $200,000 to the United Ways of Maine to address increasing food insecurity experienced by Mainers because of COVID-19. CMP donated $175,000 to be earmarked for Meals on Wheels contributions across the state and $25,000 to match viewer donations the United Way raised through a day-long News Center Maine telethon on April 9.

Dunkin’ helped fuel up and thank local healthcare workers on April 9 by providing free hot coffee and Munchkins doughnut holes, along with 750 gift cards, to staff at Maine Medical Center. That morning, 1,200 cups of coffee and 1,200 doughnut holes were served to the doctors, nurses and support staff working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Dunkin’ also provided a care package containing $3,750 in gift cards and 60 boxes of Dunkin’ K-Cups for Maine Medical Center staff. The donation is part of Dunkin’s regional response to support local healthcare workers and food banks during the pandemic.

“Our communities support us with their business throughout the year,” said Maine Dunkin’ franchisee Kim Wolak. “In turn, we are eager and honored to support our local healthcare professionals, however we can, while they work tirelessly to combat this pandemic.”

Granted

Maine received seven Community Development Block Grants from HUD to help municipalities recover from presidentially declared disasters, including $1.14 million for Portland and $920,165 for Cumberland County. The city received $574,734 in Emergency Solutions Grants to help homeless people regain stability in permanent housing, and The Frannie Peabody Center in Portland received three grants totaling $418,938 through the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration is awarding a $2 million grant to the Maine Technology Institute in Brunswick. The grant will help develop a strategic road map to strengthen Maine’s marine living resources economy and improve resiliency against future natural disasters. The grant will be matched with more than $522,000 in local investments.