Publix launches donation program for six food banks across Florida
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 11/24/20-Frederick Jones, the sexton for Grace Mission Episcopal Church, loads boxed turkey dinners in bus for delivery to clients of the Kearney Center, Tuesday in Tallahassee. The Church staff and community volunteers prepared nearly 300 meals for those who walked up to the church hungry and delivered the remainder to clients of the Kearney Center, the main agency in Tallahassee that helps the homeless with temporary and long-term housing. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

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More than 2.7 million people in Florida are struggling with hunger.

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

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 20, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Such bs hypocrisy ! Publix policy is to shut down in neighborhoods that are not up to “the bs of the Publix customer “! Image! Brentwood in Jacksonville wasva damn food desert when Publix closed! Winn Dixie stepped up and gave out food til the Winn Dixie opened their store for these folks! This is just total bs!

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