Publix’s initiative to support farmers and feed those in need reached a milestone after two weeks. The company announced it has purchased more than 1 million pounds of fruits and vegetables and more than 100,000 gallons of milk to donate to Feeding America member food banks.
“We’re proud of the success this initiative has had in supporting farmers and families affected by the pandemic,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “As a food retailer, feeding families is our greatest opportunity to give back, and we are grateful to be able to do so while supporting produce and dairy farmers. During such challenging times, we are even more committed to supporting those in need and doing good, together.”
Launched on April 22, the initiative aims to help farmers and families struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic by purchasing fruits, vegetables and milk from Florida produce farmers and southeastern dairies to donate directly to Feeding America member food banks throughout the company’s seven-state operating area.
Feeding America estimates an additional 17 million people will experience food insecurity due to the pandemic, many of whom are turning to Feeding America member food banks to feed their families. At the same time, farmers are feeling the effects of an unexpected decrease in demand, and some are being forced to discard produce and milk due to the closures of schools, restaurants and other establishments.
“There are some things you can’t plan for and this is one of them,” said 5 Brothers Produce Senior Sales Associate Thomas Torbert. “You just hope that you can find the right people to work with, people who can come up with the right solutions to help you make it through. We found that right partner in Publix.”
Publix has a long history of supporting organizations working toward alleviating hunger in the communities they serve. Since 2009, Publix has donated more than $2 billion in food to people in need and has pledged an additional $2 billion in food donations during the next 10 years.
Publix Super Markets Charities, which supports nonprofits in Publix’s operating area, has also donated $2 million to support Feeding America member food banks during the pandemic.