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Local Hannaford supermarkets have joined forces with Dead River Co., the largest distributor of residential heating fuels in northern New England and an operator of a chain of convenience stores in Maine, to kick off the "Share the Warmth" heating assistance campaign to help needy families pay their fuel bills. Dead River said yesterday that it plans to match each dollar collected up to a total of $100,000.
The campaign will run from Jan. 11 through Jan. 31 at Hannaford supermarkets in Maine and New Hampshire. Hannaford stores will accept donations from customers at checkout registers, and customers will have the choice of making a $2 or $5 contribution to the program.
"Hannaford has supported many initiatives this fall and winter to help provide our communities with the essentials in a time of unprecedented need," said Hannaford e.v.p. Mark Doiron. "Our Maine and New Hampshire stores are pleased to be part of another strong partnership that will help heat homes this winter."
"While we are heartened to see fuel prices come down from last summer's high, the current economic conditions have left many people struggling to pay their bills and heat their homes this year, including those who may have never needed assistance in the past," noted Robert A. Moore, president of Portland, Maine-based Dead River.
The two companies worked together over the past few months to develop the Share the Warmth program, added Moore.
All funds collected will be administered by the United Way, with a focus on helping families and individuals in need throughout Maine and New Hampshire. According to the United Way, calls to 2-1-1 requesting fuel assistance have soared over 300 percent since this time last year. Additionally, call levels rose about 60 percent within a one-month period, from November to December 2008.
Scarborough, Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets operates 167 stores and employs more than 27,000 associates in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Hannaford is owned by Delhaize Group of Brussels, Belgium.