Publix Initiative to Help Farmers Moves North
In April, Publix Super Markets rolled out a new initiative to support farmers and families across the Southeast by purchasing fresh produce and milk to donate during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, Publix has bought more than 5 million pounds of produce and 350,000 gallons of milk for Feeding America member food banks.
As the growing season moves north, so will the program. The initiative began in Florida but has since spread to Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, with Publix adding farmers from Tennessee and Virginia in the coming weeks.
As the impact of coronavirus closed schools, restaurants, hotels and other establishments, farmers were forced to discard produce and raw milk due to decreased demand. At the same time, more individuals and families began turning to Feeding America member food banks. This initiative works to close that supply and demand gap.
“We have received more than 720,000 pounds of produce and 97,000 gallons of milk from Publix over the last 10 weeks. This has helped us provide food to more than 1 million individuals,” said president and CEO of Feeding South Florida Paco Vélez. “We are grateful to Publix not only for their support of growers, but also Feeding South Florida through this initiative as well as their perishable food and monetary donations all year long.”
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 over the next 10 years, while Publix Super Markets Charities has donated more than $17.5 million to Feeding America and its member food banks in the last five years, including $2 million during the pandemic.