Publix donates produce to food banks that farmers would have had to throw out
The store’s new initiative supports farmers and hungry families
You may have seen the terrible news stories earlier in the month about farmers throwing away food. Food banks have reported a staggering 70% increase in demand for their services - and at the same time farmers are forced to throw away milk and let crops rot because restaurants and hotels are not buying their products.
Enter Publix. The grocery store chain headquartered in Florida this week announced that it will buy fresh produce and milk to help farmers impacted by coronavirus. Publix will then donate these products directly to Feeding America member food banks in the local area.
More than 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk will be donated during the first week of the new initiative. It’s expected to run for several weeks.
Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement: “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. In this time of uncertainty, we are grateful to be able to help Florida’s produce farmers, southeastern dairies and families in our communities.”
According to Feeding America, an estimated 17.1 million additional people will experience food insecurity due to school closures and rising unemployment during the pandemic.
“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,” said Feeding South Florida President & CEO Paco Velez. “We’re grateful to Publix for not only supporting growers, but also for their years of support of Feeding South Florida.”
“We are thrilled about Publix’s initiative to buy additional milk from Southeast Milk for processing and donation to Feeding America member food banks,” said Southeast Milk Inc. President Joe Wright. “It’s a win-win for our farmers who are feeling the impact of decreased demand and the families who are in need of nutrient rich milk during this pandemic.”