Publix is teaming up with a nonprofit “to provide relief to both those lacking access to food, as well as farmers devastated by the pandemic, by purchasing produce and dairy directly from farmers and donating it to Feeding America member food banks,” according to a news release.
The program was launched by Publix in April, and since then, the grocer has rescued more than five million pounds of produce from going to waste by buying directly from farmers and donating goods to Feeding America food banks, officials said.
Publix has since expanded its program across the Southeast.
“Publix is now working with farmers in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to purchase their produce, providing them with much-needed revenue at a time when many of their largest purchasers like schools and restaurants have drastically reduced operations or closed altogether,” officials said in a news release. “Since April, Publix has purchased more than 5 million pounds of fruits and vegetables and more than 350,000 gallons of milk and donated it to Feeding America member food banks.”
Publix officials said the demand for their program arose as the impact of coronavirus closed schools, restaurants, hotels and other establishments, forcing farmers to discard produce and raw milk due to decreased demand. Officials said that at the same time, more individuals and families began turning to Feeding America member food banks.
“We have received more than 720,000 pounds of produce and 97,000 gallons of milk from Publix over the last 10 weeks. This has helped us provide food to more than 1 million individuals,” said President and CEO of Feeding South Florida Paco Vélez. “We are grateful to Publix not only for their support of growers, but also Feeding South Florida through this initiative as well as their perishable food and monetary donations all year long.”