Publix Farmer Support Initiative Hits Milestone
LAKELAND, FL - Just two weeks after it announced its plan to support farmers, Publix leap-frogged the one-million-pound milestone of fruits and vegetables purchased to donate to those in need.
The occasion was marked for agriculture across industries, as the retailer also touted 100,000 gallons of milk purchased.
“We’re proud of the success this initiative has had in supporting farmers and families affected by the pandemic,” said CEO Todd Jones. “As a food retailer, feeding families is our greatest opportunity to give back, and we are grateful to be able to do so while supporting produce and dairy farmers. During such challenging times, we are even more committed to supporting those in need and doing good, together.”
As we previously reported, Publix launched the initiative to help farmers and families struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic by purchasing fruits, vegetables, and milk from Florida produce farmers and southeastern dairies to donate directly to Feeding America member food banks throughout the company’s seven-state operating area.
“There are some things you can’t plan for, and this is one of them,” said 5 Brothers Produce Senior Sales Associate Thomas Torbert. “You just hope that you can find the right people to work with, people who can come up with the right solutions to help you make it through. We found that right partner in Publix.”
Since 2009, Publix has donated more than $2 billion in food to people in need, according to a press release, and pledged an additional $2 billion in food donations over the next 10 years. Amidst the current pandemic alone, the retailer has donated $2 million to support Feeding America member food banks.
It is no secret that farmers are feeling the effects of unexpected fluctuations in demand, with some forced to discard product due to the closures of key food establishments, while Feeding America estimates an additional 17 million people will experience food insecurity due to the pandemic. Initiatives like this help to bring a balance to both these sides.
We thank everyone in our industry working to ensure the produce and ag community all cross the finish line of COVID-19 and into better times.