LAKELAND


Publix heir dumped over $100,000 into Georgia Senate races, documents show

click image Photo courtesy Publix/FacebookPublix founder George Jenkins died in 1996, but his wealthy, mostly Lakeland-based children are still very much involved in the political arena, including recently dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into Georgia’s hotly contested Senate race.A review of Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that former Publix chairperson Carol Barnett Jenkins donated a total of $110,000 to Georgia Republican election efforts in 2020.According to FEC filings , on Oct. 16 Jenkins made a $10,000 donation to Sen. David Perdue’s PAC, Perdue Victory Inc. Then, on Nov. 17, Jenkins dumped another $100,000 into the Senate Georgia Battleground Fund, which benefits both Perdue and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and has so far spent over $50 million in advertising for the Georgia GOP’s voter turnout operation.This isn’t the first time Carol Barnett Jenkins has thrown an insane amount of money into a political fight. In 2016, she also donated $800,000 to a conservative-led campaign fighting to keep medical marijuana illegal in Florida.Pumping money into politics is not unusual for the George Jenkins family tree. According to the Miami New Times , multiple Publix offspring maxed out federal donations to Trump's 2020 campaign, including the founder's other daughter, Julia Jenkins Fancelli, and his grandchildren Gregory Fancelli and Leslie Fancelli Sonatori.As a company, Publix has a long history of donating to conservative politicians. In 2018, Publix donated an unprecedented $670,000 to self-described "proud NRA sellout" Adam Putnam's campaign for Florida governor.There’s also the Lakeland-based grocer’s very on-brand history of fighting minimum wage increases suing cities that try to ban single-use plastic , and refusing to cover "pre-exposure prophylaxis"(or PrEP) drugs that prevent HIV-negative people from contracting the virus simply because they didn’t want to

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The Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area is the most obese in Florida

click to enlarge Photo via Adobe Stockclick to enlarge Photo via MOJO Federal Swine & Spirits/FacebookDon't blame Lakeland's MOJO Federal Swine & Spirits barbecue platters for area obesity rates; more than a quarter of Lakeland-Winter Haven adults dont exercise. According to a new study, the Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area is, at the very least, thicc. The study, conducted by financial site 24/7 Wall St., found that the area has an adult obesity rate of 35.3%, which is the highest in the state of Florida, and significantly higher than the national average of 30%.The report also found that 27.2% of Lakeland-Winter Haven adults dont exercise, 20.3% reported feeling that they are in fair or poor health, and 14.1% live with diabetes.Public health officials and other researchers blame various factors for the problem among them the prevalence of fast food, the size of portions, the increase in meat consumption, our love for sugary soft drinks, our embrace of low-fat, high-sugar diet foods, and our relatively sedentary lifestyle, said the site.The report looked at a total of 382 metro areas in the county, and based its findings on data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint programs 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report.This is just the latest concerning news for our Central Florida neighbors. Last week, a report from the University of South Florida placed from Polk County among the bottom 20% in the state for child well-being.

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