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Supermarket program helps local schools

Hannaford Supermarkets announced last week that the ninth annual Hannaford Helps Schools program is under way, giving shoppers in five states the opportunity to raise money for their favorite school. Since 2001, the program has brought in more than $5.6 million to participating schools in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

Hannaford Helps Schools, open to grades K-12, allows shoppers to raise money for educational activities and equipment-such as computers, sports gear and playgrounds-by simply buying eligible products between Sept. 6 and Dec. 6. For every four products purchased, customers receive three "school dollars" that are equivalent to cash and can be turned in to the school or placed in special collection bins at any Hannaford store.

In addition, Hannaford will designate a weekly "extra credit" product. If customers buy three qualifying items and the "extra credit" option, they'll automatically receive four "school dollars" at checkout. There is no limit to the number of products that can be purchased during each shopping trip.

"With education budgets tight everywhere, Hannaford Helps Schools will provide much-needed funds that the schools choose how to use," said Evan Harding, Hannaford marketing specialist. "And the 'extra credit' item is any easy way for customers to offer even more support."

Approximately 2,700 schools will participate, the same number as last year, and will receive their share of the proceeds next March. In 2008, those schools were granted more than $1.4 million, comprised of in-store collections of $1.3 million, plus $1,000 from Hannaford to the top-earning school aligned with each store.

This year's program will feature about 900 eligible products, including 35 Hannaford brand items and goods from partners such as Kellogg's, Clorox, Heinz FF, Hormel, Ocean Spray, Gorton's, Bush's Beans, King Arthur, Bayer, McCain, New World, Simply Asian, Coke, Hershey, Nestle Beverage, Purina, Tyson, Campbell's, Sylvania and Knouse.

About 25 percent of eligible products earn at least one star under the Guiding Stars system, which helps Hannaford shoppers find the most nutritious foods in the store quickly and easily. Foods with one, two or three stars provide good, better and best nutritional value, respectively.

Schools that took part in the 2008 program are automatically registered and will receive their 2009 Hannaford Helps Schools kits. To see if your school is registered, or for more information, visit www.hannaford.com/hhs.

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