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Company : Publix Super Markets
Program category : Food

Origins:

A primary tenet of Publix’s mission is to be involved as responsible citizens in our communities, and as a food retailer our single greatest opportunity to give back is in helping to alleviate hunger. According to Feeding America®, 1 in 9 Americans face hunger and an estimated 17.1 million additional people experienced food insecurity during 2020. As a part of our commitment to help alleviate hunger, Publix has implemented several new programs, in addition to existing programs, with the goal of feeding neighbors in need. Publix Super Markets Charities (PSMC), a foundation which financially supports nonprofits in our operating area, also remains committed to serving others through monetary donations.

During the pandemic, Publix’s local food bank partners saw a growing number of families needing assistance and, at the same time, became aware of farmers discarding product because of decreased demand due to unexpected business closures. In April 2020, Publix began purchasing produce and milk from Southeastern farmers and donating the products to food banks throughout our seven-state operating area.

Then, when food banks were facing a critical food shortage with increased demand around the holidays, we launched an additional six-week program to support six of Florida’s largest food banks. By the end of the year Publix purchased and donated over 18 million pounds of produce and over 500,000 gallons of milk.

To continue our decades-long hunger alleviation efforts and provide a way for our customers to support hunger alleviation, Publix launched the Feeding More Together campaign in 2021.

Contribution:

The coronavirus pandemic brought the need for food assistance to unprecedented levels last year — a need that continues.

In 2020, Publix and PSMC provided much-needed support to local communities through a combination of food donations and financial contributions, which have continued into 2021.

Publix’s Farmers and Families initiative rolled out in April 2020 in response to the onset of the pandemic, and our first Feeding More Together campaign ran in stores March 10 – 21, 2021. This program is planned to run in stores again Nov. 4 – 15, 2021.

By September 2021, PSMC donated a total of $10.5 million.

These new efforts are in addition to Publix’s in-store perishable food recovery program which has been in place companywide since 2009. Through this program, associates in our stores gather wholesome but unsalable dairy, deli, meat and produce items to give to Feeding America member food banks and other nonprofits every day.

Objectives:

The pandemic created an unexpected decrease in demand for products from farmers across the Southeast. Meanwhile, food banks were reporting substantial increases in need. To help our communities, in April 2020, Publix began purchasing produce and milk from Southeastern farmers and donating it to food banks throughout our operating area.

In March 2021, Publix launched the first Feeding More Together campaign in stores, which allows customers to make donations at the register, that are used to purchase nonperishable food items for local food banks. In turn, Publix matches the donations dollar-for-dollar with an equivalent value of fresh produce donated to Feeding America member food banks.

By September 2021, between both programs Publix purchased and delivered more than 33 million pounds of produce and more than 500,000 gallons of milk to our food bank partners.

Additionally, PSMC donated a total of $10.5 million in support of alleviating hunger in our communities.

Impact:

Since April 2020, Publix has donated more than 33 million pounds of produce and over 500,000 gallons of milk to Feeding America member food banks in our operating area through our farmers and families initiative and the first Feeding More Together campaign.

In December 2020, Publix donated nearly 1.2 million pounds of pasta, canned vegetables, canned beans, cereal and boxed potatoes to six of Florida’s largest Feeding America member food banks. In addition, Publix also donated over 590,000 pounds of surplus chicken in 2020.

The Feeding More Together campaign raised nearly $5 million in customer donations in March 2021 to provide nonperishable food items to local food banks. Publix matched every dollar raised at the register to purchase produce and donate it to Feeding America member food banks.

In addition to these programs, Publix has donated more than 571 million pounds of food, through its perishable food recovery program since inception, including more than 97 million pounds in 2020.

Furthermore, as part of their ongoing support to alleviate hunger within Publix’s operating area, Publix Super Markets Charities contributed $5 million in monetary donations to 32 Feeding America member food banks and more than 200 nonprofit organizations across the Southeast in 2020. In September 2021, they announced an additional $5.5 million donation to help alleviate hunger.

Quote:

“Having food on the table is an essential need that millions of people throughout our communities struggle with every day. As a food retailer, helping provide nourishing meals to our neighbors in need is at the heart of who we are. It is our privilege to join our customers and Publix Charities in helping to alleviate hunger and do good together for our communities.”
— Publix CEO Todd Jones

Paco Velez, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida said, “As federally funded food deliveries decrease, food banks need help to serve our communities. 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 the most challenging and unusual year.”

“Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen an increase in the number of people turning to Feeding America member food banks for help, many of them for the first time,” said Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. “We are incredibly grateful to Publix and Publix Super Markets Charities for finding new, innovative ways to help serve our neighbors and for their long-standing commitment to alleviating hunger.”

Thomas Mantz, president and CEO of Feeding Tampa Bay said, “Organizations like Feeding Tampa Bay and other food relief partners are unable to do the work that we do without the generous support of organizations like Publix and Publix Super Markets Charities. They’ve been alongside us the last 18-20 months, giving us foundational and important support, making sure we can be the organization we need to be to the communities we serve.”