Publix announced they’ve purchased produce and milk to donate to Feeding America food banks
Florida-based supermarket chain Publix announced they’ll purchase fresh produce and milk from Florida farmers and southeastern dairies and will donate said produce and milk to Feeding America-member food banks to help solve some of America’s supply chain issues. According to their press release, in just the first week, Publix purchased more than 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk directly from Florida produce and dairy farmers.
The initiative kicked off April 22 and is expected to run for several weeks.
“As a food retailer, we have the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the needs of families and farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a prepared statement. “In this time of uncertainty, we are grateful to be able to help Florida’s produce farmers, southeastern dairies, and families in our communities.”
Feeding America estimates there are currently 17 million additional people who will experience food insecurity due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent market conditions. For farmers, the closure of restaurants, schools, and workplaces across America has left them with an excess of product with nowhere to go. It’s an unfortunate situation — one that Publix is hoping to step in and help solve.
“As we respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Publix understands that more families are turning to us to help put food, especially fresh produce and milk, on their tables,” Feeding South Florida President and CEO Paco Velez said in the release. “We’re grateful to Publix for not only supporting growers, but also for their years of support of Feeding South Florida.”
According to CNBC, more than 26 million people have filed for unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic — an unprecedented number. With many states unsure of when non-essential businesses will be opening, the need for food assistance programs is more critical than ever before.
In addition to helping feed local communities, the program is aimed at helping farmers during this critical time.
“Like so many others right now, Florida farmers are in a time of need,” said Pero Family Farms Food Co. CEO Peter F. Pero IV. “We are humbled Publix is purchasing additional fresh vegetables from us and other local farms to donate to food banks throughout the Southeast.”
Additionally, the corporation made donations totaling $2 million to support Feeding America member food banks during the pandemic. According to NPR, Publix also announced in late March it would hire “thousands of associates” to meet unprecedented demand during the pandemic.
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