As people across Florida face food insecurity at unprecedented levels, Publix announced a new six-week program to support six of the state’s largest food banks with donations of pasta, canned vegetables, canned beans, cereal and boxed potatoes. The six participating Feeding America member food banks collectively serve 46 counties in Florida and 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
Food banks are in need with some reporting as much as a 300 to 400 percent increase in demand. More than 2.7 million people in Florida — 1 in 8 — are struggling with hunger.
“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. “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.”
“As federally funded food deliveries decrease, food banks need help to serve our communities,” said Paco Velez, president and CEO, Feeding South Florida. “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.”
This new six-week program is in addition to the program Publix launched in April to purchase surplus produce and milk from farmers impacted by the pandemic and deliver it directly to food banks. Through that program, Publix expects to purchase and deliver more than 18 million pounds of produce and over 500,000 gallons of milk to Feeding America member food banks throughout the Southeast this year, including more than 7 million pounds of produce and more than 250,000 gallons of milk to the six Florida food banks receiving additional support this holiday season.