As the people of Florida face food insecurity at unprecedented levels, Publix has announced that it is working with six of the state’s largest food banks to distribute 1.3 million pounds of food.
A staggering 2.7 million people in Florida—1 in 8—are currently struggling with hunger, with food banks reporting as much as a 300 to 400% increase in demand ahead of the holidays.
This new six-week effort will supply food banks with donations of essentials like pasta, canned vegetables, canned beans, cereal, and boxed potatoes.
“When we heard from food banks that they were facing a critical food shortage, we knew that, as a food retailer, we had another opportunity to help,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a news release. “With 90 years of relationships and expertise, we are able to mobilize quickly— sourcing, purchasing and transporting what these food banks need most—and bring hope and nourishment this holiday season.”
The six participating Feeding America member food banks collectively serve 46 counties in Florida. These include Feeding Northeast Florida, Feeding South Florida, Feeding Tampa Bay, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and Treasure Coast Food Bank.
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“As federally funded food deliveries decrease, food banks need help to serve our communities,” Paco Velez, president and CEO, Feeding South Florida, said in a statement. “For decades, Publix has consistently looked for creative ways to support those in need. Their leadership in 2020 has played a vital role in sustaining our clients throughout this most challenging and unusual year.”
This latest effort is in addition to the program the Florida-based supermarket chain launched in April to purchase surplus produce and milk from farmers impacted by the pandemic and deliver it directly to food banks.
Thank you, Publix!