ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Publix's mission to support farmers and families across the Southeast reached a new milestone Thursday in its effort to purchase from local farmers and donate to food banks.
Just two and a half months after its launch, more than 5 million pounds of produce and 350,000 gallons of milk have been purchased and donated.
It also expanded the region it is purchasing from as the growing season moves north. In addition to Florida, Publix is now buying produce from farmers in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and plans to add farmers from Tennessee and Virginia in the coming weeks.
“During these challenging times, we remain committed to working together to find the solutions that positively impact our communities in need. We are honored to continue our support of Feeding America member food banks and to purchase produce and milk from farmers across the Southeast,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said. “As the harvest season moves north, so is our initiative, expanding to support additional farmers and serve as many people as possible.”
Publix said it wanted to start this initiative to help support farmers and families being impacted by the pandemic. Earlier this year, we started seeing some farms forced to throw away rotting produce and raw milk due to the lack of demand caused my COVID-19 closures.
“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,” President and CEO of Feeding South Florida Paco Vélez said. “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.”
In addition to the food donations, Publix Super Markets Charities has donated $2 million to help Feeding America food banks during the pandemic.
Since 2009, Publix has donated more than $2 billion worth of food to people in need. The grocery chain has pledged to donate another $2 billion over the next decade.