LAKELAND — Restaurant, hotel, and school closings have affected Florida’s produce farmers and Southeastern dairies, resulting in good food going to waste. At the same time, Feeding America estimates 17.1 million people will experience food insecurity due to school closures and rising unemployment in the coming months.
For Publix, the solution was simple: Bring together farmers, food banks, and families in need. So they did.
Publix began an initiative to purchase produce and milk directly from farmers, and donate it to Feeding America member food banks in our communities. The initiative is expected to run for several weeks; they set out to donate 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk in the first week alone.
“In addition to providing much-needed produce and milk to food banks, this initiative provides financial support to farmers during this challenging time,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “We’re honored to be able to work with these groups and do good together for our communities.”
Publix Super Markets Charities announced on April 16 a second $1 million donation to Feeding America member food banks in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This donation provided support to food pantries and meal programs in the communities surrounding Publix stores and brought Publix Charities’ total contribution in support of hunger relief efforts during the pandemic to $2 million.
“As we continue to see an increase in the number of people facing food insecurity during this pandemic, we are grateful to Publix Super Markets Charities for this additional contribution in support of Feeding America member food banks,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “This donation will provide meals and essential supplies to our neighbors and continues to support our ongoing commitment to alleviating hunger in the communities we serve.”
The $1 million donation will be distributed to Feeding America member food banks throughout its seven-state operating area.