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Vermont Maturity Cover Story – Hannaford

Hannaford Supports Health and Wellness Through Food, Pharmacy and Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The Hannaford brothers began selling produce in Portland, Maine in the late 1800s and the company was incorporated in 1902. Today they have 187 grocery stores across New England and New York including 17 in Vermont from Swanton to Bradford, Bennington, and Brattleboro. In addition to selling groceries, Hannaford has prioritized the health and wellbeing of its customers through a variety of services. Today, , the company is proud to offer the Hannaford Dietitian Program, pharmacy services, and nutrition assistance through Snack Pals and Guiding Stars.

Hannaford added pharmacy services in 1984. Their stores have healthcare professionals available to answer questions with expertise and care and to provide immunizations from COVID-19, the flu, shingles, pneumonia, and more. Hannaford has an app which provides customers with prescription management, so they won’t run out of medication or forget to call for refills. Prescription renewal can be coordinated so that everything can be done in one trip to the pharmacy. Customers also have the option of curbside pickup, same-day delivery to their homes or having medications mailed to them. Most prescription insurance plans are accepted, and all many Medicare Part D plans are honored.

Hannaford has been offering free dietitian services for more than two decades, both in-store and online. Hannaford’s dietitians can provide help with grocery lists, family meal ideas, and menu planning. They can address health concerns ranging from diabetes to stress reduction, and assist with recipe makeover ideas, healthy eating tips, label-reading strategies, and understanding portion sizes. They can also provide nutrition education for schools, work or community groups, advice for shopping on a budget, and assistance on shopping for special dietary needs.

In 2020, the company launched a series of free online classes led by dietitians to help meet people at any point in their wellness journey. The classes vary from month to month but some of the regular offerings include lessons on understanding diabetes, heart-healthy eating, meal planning made easy, and nutritious meals on a budget. In addition, the Hannaford website has free nutrition booklets on topics including gluten-free living, heart healthy foods, and living with diabetes.

In 2006, Hannaford debuted Guiding Stars, a store navigation program which makes it fast and easy for customers to make nutritious choices. Customers can look for the stars as they shop in-store or online to save time and help them achieve their wellness goals. Products with one star have good nutritional value, those with two are better, and those with three have the highest nutritional value. The Guiding Stars website also has recipes for those who want to make use of these high nutrition foods in their daily cooking. Those recipes include breakfast, lunch and dinner foods, holiday meals, appetizers, soups, stews, desserts, and food for children.

The newest addition to Hannaford’s wellness programs is Snack Pals which began in 2019. The following year, they launched the Snack Pals microsite, which offers games and activities for kids to help them learn about healthy eating habits. Children can even earn virtual Snack Pal badges through activities like using  recycled Snack Pal containers to create crafts.

“Nutrition plays a critical role in leading a healthy lifestyle,” said Healthy Living Marketing Specialist, Laura Hunt. “Time and again I’m in in awe of the impact our dietitians have on our shoppers, associates, and the communities we serve. Hannaford’s ongoing commitment to offering free nutrition education removes barriers and allows the dietitians to focus their time and expertise on supporting those that need it most. No matter where you are in your wellness journey, our team of registered dietitians is here to help.” 

Hannaford has a long history of taking an active role in the communities they serve, starting with a partnership with the United Way dating back to 1929. In 2017, they received the JoAnn Pike Humanitarian Award for commitment to hunger relief. Two years later, they launched Fuel Kids at School and donated $1 million for the creation of 90 food pantries at schools across the Northeast. During the COVID pandemic, they donated an additional $1.75 million to help those impacted by the pandemic.

Hannaford has a strong commitment to the environment including a decision in 2012 to ensure that all seafood products are sustainably harvested. The following year, one of their stores received a “Best of the Best Award” from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership for installing a first-in-the-nation refrigeration system that was considered far better for the environment than a typical system. In 2016, they eliminated food waste at 53 stores, and by 2021, they had ceased sending food to landfills with all unsold products donated to hunger relief, given to farmers for animal feed, or used for the production of energy. For ten straight years, they achieved a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index.

“Our registered dietitian program is such an important resource for customers seeking to improve their health and wellness,” said Hannaford Supermarkets Vermont Director of Operations Melissa Roberge. “It’s so inspiring to watch our customers achieve their goals such as managing special dietary needs or learning how to prepare a healthy, well-balanced meal with the assistance of our in-store dietitians. We encourage customers who have not taken advantage of this free program to explore how working with one of our dietitians can help them navigate our grocery aisles in a whole new way.”

If you’d like to learn more or to reach out to a Hannaford dietitian, please visit and for more information on free online classes visit

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