Publix to donate 1.3 million pounds of food to Florida food banks for the holidays

Publix has launched a new initiative to provide emergency donations to Florida food banks, which are facing severe shortages during the holidays.

The Lakeland-based supermarket chain says it will donate 1.3 million pounds of food to six of Florida's largest food banks to meet surging holiday demand.

Publix says the six-week program will provide pasta, canned vegetables, canned beans, cereal and boxed potatoes to food banks in the Sunshine State, including Feeding Tampa Bay, which will receive about 342,000 pounds of food.

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The company says food banks are reporting as much as a 300 to 400% increase in demand, with more than 2.7 million Floridians 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. “We are able to mobilize quickly — sourcing, purchasing and transporting what these food banks need most — and bring hope and nourishment this holiday season.”

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The six-week program is in addition to Publix's initiative launched in April to purchase surplus produce and milk from farmers impacted by the pandemic, and delivered those goods directly to food banks.

By the end of the year, Publix says it will have purchased and delivered more than 18 million pounds of produce and over 500,000 gallons of milk to food banks throughout the southeast this year.