Publix is launching a six-week program to help six of the largest food banks across the Sunshine State.
The supermarket giant will donate pasta, canned vegetables, canned beans, cereal and boxed potatoes to the Feeding America food banks that collectively serve 46 of Florida’s 67 counties.
“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,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones 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.”
Food banks are in critical need amidst the job loss brought on by the pandemic. As the holidays approach, more than 2.7 million people, 1 in 8 in Florida, are struggling with hunger.
Food banks are challenged with keeping up with the unprecedented demand, with some reporting as much as a 300% to 400% increase in need. Through this program, Publix will donate nearly 1.3 million pounds of food to meet holiday demand.
“As federally funded food deliveries decrease, food banks need help to serve our communities,” Paco Velez, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida, said in a news release. “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.”
The six participating Feeding America member food banks include:
— Feeding Northeast Florida, serving the Jacksonville metro area
— Feeding South Florida, serving the Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe areas
— Feeding Tampa Bay, serving the Tampa metro area
— Harry Chapin Food Bank, serving the Fort Myers metro area
— Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, serving the Orlando metro area
— Treasure Coast Food Bank, serving the Fort Pierce-Port St. Lucie metro area