In April 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Publix learned of produce and dairy farmers plowing under or dumping products due to unexpected closures of schools, restaurants and hotels. At the same time, Feeding America shared that they were seeing increases in demand at food banks as high as 600%. Publix saw an opportunity to help both farmers and families, and the company did just that.
Within 10 days, Publix launched its farmers and families initiative and began purchasing produce and milk from Southeastern farmers and donating the product directly to Feeding America affiliates in Florida. Within weeks, Publix expanded the program to support food banks throughout the company’s seven-state operating area. From April 2020 through April 2022, Publix purchased and delivered more than 50 million pounds of fresh produce and nearly 550,000 gallons of milk to our food bank partners.
Building off this model, in 2021, we invited our customers and associates to contribute to hunger alleviation efforts through Feeding More Together. This initiative provides food to people facing hunger in two ways: with nonperishable food items and with fresh produce purchased from Southeastern farmers. Money donated at the register is given to local food banks as retail dollar credits, which are used to purchase from a select group of high-need Publix-brand products. This unique model allows community food banks the flexibility to select the items they need most. Publix then matches customer donations up to $5 million per campaign with an equivalent value of fresh produce. The purchased produce is donated to Feeding America member food banks.
Since its launch in March 2021, Feeding More Together has provided more than 173 million meals to Feeding America member food banks and other nonprofit agencies focused on hunger alleviation. Our second Feeding More Together register campaign of 2022 will run Nov. 9 – 20. To learn more about this hunger alleviation effort, please visit publix.com/FeedingMoreTogether.