ORLANDO, Fla. - Publix announced they have reached a milestone after committing to buying fresh produce and excess milk from farmers impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company says it has purchased more than 1 million pounds of fruits and vegetables and more than 100,000 gallons of milk to donate to Feeding America member food banks.
“We’re proud of the success this initiative has had in supporting farmers and families affected by the pandemic,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “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.”
The Lakeland-based grocer started the initiative 2 weeks ago after many farmers have reported having to discard produce and milk not being sold, mostly because of hotel, school and restaurant closures. The company then turned around and donated directly to Feeding America member food banks throughout the company’s seven-state operating area.
Feeding America estimates an additional 17 million people will experience food insecurity due to the pandemic.
“There are some things you can’t plan for, and this is one of them,” said 5 Brothers Produce Senior Sales Associate Thomas Torbert. “You just hope that you can find the right people to work with, people who can come up with the right solutions to help you make it through. We found that right partner in Publix.”