What is the CHEF Program?

The CHEF Program is a collaborative network of organizations and volunteer initiatives across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Eastern Massachusetts, and Upstate New York that are focused on increasing older adults’ equitable access to healthy food and social connection.

The Connection, Health, & Equity through Food (CHEF) Grant Program

Under the banner of Hannaford’s “Eat Well. Be Well. – A Path to Better Health” initiative, the CHEF Grant Program will fund organizations and projects supporting the needs of diverse older adults, including improving equitable access to food, and increasing opportunities for socialization.

Grant Funding Opportunities!

The Connection, Health, & Equity through Food (CHEF) grant program will provide funding to increase older adults’ equitable access to food and social connections in their communities. Grants will allow awardees to make investments in programmatic infrastructure, sustainably expand current programming and/or launch innovative, new programming that supports the food and social connection needs of older people. Priority will be given to projects and programs that serve diverse older people, veterans, and older people living with disabilities. Funds can also be used to help find solutions to the root causes of food insecurity and social isolation, including but not limited to poverty, transportation, rurality, and language barriers.

Application Period

Wednesday, May 8, 2024-Sunday, June 30, 2024

Information Session

Thursday, May 16, 2024 | 2:00pm
Register via the link below.

Maine Council on Aging Awards Nearly $376,000 in Grants through Hannaford Supermarkets’ CHEF Program

Benefiting nearly 236,000 older people across five states

Thanks to a $1.3 million grant from Hannaford Supermarkets, the Maine Council on Aging (MCOA) announced today that nearly $376,000 has been awarded to more than 50 organizations in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York through the first micro-grant cycle of the Connection, Health and Equity Through Food (CHEF) Program. This vital funding will improve older people’s access to food and social connection across the region, benefiting nearly 236,000 people.

Read the news release.

Read the complete list of CHEF grant recipients.

Regional Learning Collaborative

Through monthly webinars and virtual cross-border collaborative conversations, the CHEF Program will focus on equity while sharing best practices and creative solutions to:

  • Increase older people’s access to quality and culturally appropriate food and nutrition, particularly in rural areas of the region
  • Promote healthy eating later in life, especially if cooking is a challenge
  • Keep older people connected to others and to their communities, especially when they’re experiencing challenges with transportation, dementia, caregiving, or poverty
  • Use technology to increase access to food, socialization, and services
  • Address the root causes of food insecurity and social isolation

CHEF Program partners will learn how to replicate and sustain these practices in their communities through this programming.

A Focus on Equity

The CHEF Program encompasses a specific focus on supporting older people who experience additional systemic barriers to accessing food and socialization. To support this focus, we will invite leaders from traditionally marginalized communities to join our Advisory Council to help guide the CHEF Program. This includes leaders from the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals, immigrants, people with disabilities, and older veterans, as well as those living in rural areas with limited access to transportation and broadband.

Get Involved


If you or your organization is interested in joining the CHEF network and sharing your ideas and innovations in our educational programming, reach out using the form below. We love highlighting your amazing work to help other organizations learn, grow, and share ideas in our communities!

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    Thank you to our exclusive CHEF Program Sponsor