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April 17, 2024 — Publix Super Markets recognized Miami Division Grocery Replenishment Specialist Ody Infante with a 2024 Mr. George Community Service Award at the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting. 

Infante was first inspired to give back and help her community in December 1995, when her newborn daughter was in the hospital due to seizures. 

“A group of six women came into my daughter’s hospital room and asked me if it would be okay if they gave her a toy. I said yes, and they returned with a pink elephant rattle,” Infante said. “That gesture moved me. I followed them back into the hallway, saw they had a wagon full of toys and were stopping by every room.” 

A year later, when her daughter was healthy, Infante contacted Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami to inquire about being able to distribute toys to the children who would be spending Christmas in the hospital. She was told that for her to be able to do this, she would need a minimum of 246 toys — one for every bed in the hospital. 

With the hope of making this idea work, Infante spoke to her store manager and got permission to talk to associates to try to reach the goal of 246 toys. 

“That first year, we had just enough toys, and I will never forget the feeling of walking through the hospital delivering them,” she said. “It was a full-circle moment for me, being able to help children and families the way those women did for my daughter and me the year before.” 

Infante is passionate about dedicating her time to support her community and plans to continue growing her efforts yearly. 

“Last Christmas, we had a total of 4,000 toys, and we were able to put together a lobby event with games and prizes for the kids,” Infante said. “The extra toys are saved for children going through hard times throughout the year. I am excited to see what we can do this year, and I know that the compassion and time we are dedicating to this cause is changing people’s lives.” 

About the honoree

Infante started her Publix career as a cashier in Miami in November 1981. Within the year, she was promoted to an office cashier and worked in that position for six years. Infante then became a full-time direct store delivery inventory clerk, where she worked for 18 years. She transferred to the administrative coordinator position in 2004. In 2013, she transitioned to become a grocery replenishment specialist. 

About the award

Each year, one associate from each retail division and one support associate are recognized with the Mr. George Community Service Award. These associates are actively involved in their communities and represent the generous spirit of Publix founder George W. Jenkins. Recipients receive a personalized award, a feature in an internal company publication, dinner with Publix executives, three paid days off and $5,000 donated to the charity or charities of their choosing. 

Infante joins Atlanta Division Store Manager Hermith Coleman, Charlotte Division Store Manager David Kuehl, Jacksonville Division Store Manager Danita Washington, Lakeland Division Store Manager Matt Humphreys and Senior Supply Chain Replenishment Manager Brad Shiver as this year’s Mr. George Community Service Award recipients.