This week, US supermarket chain Publix announced a new initiative to purchase fresh produce and milk to assist farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Publix will be donating these products directly to Feeding America member food banks in its operating area. The initiative, which is expected to result in more than 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk donated to Feeding America food banks during its first seven days, is expected to run for several weeks.
The program will support Florida produce farmers, southeastern dairy farmers and the growing number of families looking to Feeding America for fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk during the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “In this time of uncertainty, we are grateful to be able to help Florida’s produce farmers, southeastern dairies and families in our communities.”
With numerous reports of farmers discarding produce and milk that isn’t being sold—mostly as a result of school, restaurant and hotel closures—Publix hopes to address the needs of both the farming community and its local partner food banks through this initiative.
“We are thrilled about Publix’s initiative to buy additional milk from Southeast Milk for processing and donation to Feeding America member food banks,” said Southeast Milk Inc. President Joe Wright. “It’s a win-win for our farmers who are feeling the impact of decreased demand and the families who are in need of nutrient rich milk during this pandemic.”
“Like so many others right now, Florida farmers are in a time of need. We are humbled Publix is purchasing additional fresh vegetables from us and other local farms to donate to food banks throughout the Southeast,” said Pero Family Farms Food Co. CEO Peter F. Pero IV.
“Thank you to Publix, the participating food banks and their volunteers for making this initiative possible for those less fortunate while supporting local farms.”
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