LAKELAND, Fla. - Publix says a new initiative partnering with farmers and foodbanks have reached a milestone after only two weeks in operation.
The Lakeland-based grocery store chain said that in the past two weeks it has bought more than 1 million pounds of fruits and vegetables and more than 100,000 gallons of milk to donate to food banks that are part of Feeding America.
Publix said it started the initiative after seeing how restaurant, hotel, and school closings impacted Florida's produce farmers and southeastern dairies. That combined, with the estimated additional 17 million people expected to be food insecure during the COVID-19 pandemic, led the chain to try to solve two problems at once.
“We’re proud of the success this initiative has had in supporting farmers and families affected by the pandemic,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement. “As a food retailer, feeding families is our greatest opportunity to give back, and we are grateful to be able to do so while supporting produce and dairy farmers. During such challenging times, we are even more committed to supporting those in need and doing good, together.”
Last year, Publix Super Markets Charities announced that they are committing an additional $2 billion in food donations over the next decade, doubling the donations the company has made since 2009 to a total of $4 billion by 2030.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, Publix announced it will install Plexiglass around cash registers to protect cashiers and one-way aisles.
Publix has also set aside 7 to 8 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday for elderly customers.