- Florida-based Publix has announced plans to purchase large quantities of produce and milk from farmers in the Southeast to donate directly to Feeding America, according to a company press release.
- The company said in the program's first week, it will donate more than 150,000 pounds of Florida-grown produce and more than 43,500 gallons of milk to food banks in its operating areas. The initiative will run for several weeks.
- Publix said it is uniquely positioned to "bridge the gap" between families who need food and local farmers who need support amid the pandemic.
The benefit to the initiative is twofold. With its donations, Publix will help supply Feeding America’s local food banks, many of which have struggled to fill their shelves with much-needed food to help families in need. Secondly, it will support farmers who have experienced a surplus of food due to the pandemic.
The closure of larger operations like schools, hotels and restaurants that usually purchase large supplies of milk, produce and other farm goods have left many farmers with a surplus of product. In lieu of having anywhere to sell them, many have been discarding the food and dumping the milk.
Meanwhile, food banks are experiencing a surge in demand due to increased unemployment, but some food banks can’t get the food they usually count on because of the massive demand in grocery stores for essential products and shelf-stable canned goods, or because of backed-up shipments.
Many other grocers have stepped up to support food banks during the pandemic as well. Albertsons has just pledged another $50 million to support hunger relief nationally, in addition to an earlier commitment of $3 million. Natural Grocers has committed $50,000 in gift cards to local food banks and is donating $1 from every sale of select reusable bags in April. Brookshire Grocery Co. said it would donate $1 million to food banks in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.