Publix Is Buying Produce and Milk from Farmers and Donating to Food Banks

updated Apr 23, 2020
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The coronavirus outbreak is shining a light on the deep cracks in the food supply chain in the United States. The farmers who normally supply to businesses like restaurants and schools now have an excess of food, which is going to waste. At the same time there are long lines outside of food banks with depleted resources. The answer seems like it should be obvious: Get the excess of food to the people who need it most right now — but the path forward isn’t always as clear. That’s why Publix is stepping in.

The wildly popular grocery chain in the South is stepping up and helping to bridge the gap between excess food from farmers and food banks. According to a press release, Publix said they would purchase “fresh produce and milk to assist farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic” and then donate it to directly to Feeding America member food banks in their operating area. In just the first week of this new initiative, they were able to donate around 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk.

“As a food retailer, we have the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the needs of families and farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” says Todd Jones, the CEO of Publix. “In addition to providing much-needed produce and milk to food banks, this initiative provides financial support to farmers during this challenging time.”

What’s more, Publix Super Markets Charities has been helping those in need through other ways, too. They recently made a donation of $2 million to help Feeding America’s member food banks. Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in America, said that prior to the outbreak there were 37 million people in the U.S. who did not have enough food, but now that number will likely increase by an additional 17 million. Now is the time when people need those donations to food banks the most — and there’s more to come.