Publix is now buying excess produce and milk from farmers and donating it to local food banks


  • Photo via Publix/Facebook
Due to the coronavirus pandemic’s massive impact on restaurants, schools and other institutions, farmers around the country have been left with tons of produce and milk they can't sell. Now, Lakeland-based supermarket chain Publix says they're buying that otherwise wasted food and donating it to local food banks.

The company released a press release Wednesday, announcing it is now purchasing the produce and milk and donating the food directly to Feeding America in each store’s operating area.
Publix says the program has been running for a week and has already donated 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,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones in a statement. “In this time of uncertainty, we are grateful to be able to help Florida’s produce farmers, Southeastern dairies and families in our communities.”

Food insecurity is a major concern at the moment. In the past five weeks, 26 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits, reports the Labor Department. This morning, it was announced that another 4.4 million joined those ranks.

This story originally appeared in our sister paper Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
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