LAKELAND, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With more than 7 million people in the Southeast being food insecure, Publix continues to work toward alleviating hunger. As part of the company’s ongoing efforts, Publix hosted its inaugural hunger summit last week, bringing together executives from 35 Feeding America member food banks in the company’s operating area as well as state and federal officials to discuss how they can build on previous successes and feed more people in need. Publix leaders shared best practices in talent acquisition, sourcing, warehousing and distribution.
“Our summit provided an opportunity to build stronger connections and, together, find better ways to accomplish a united purpose — feeding even more people in need in the communities we serve,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones.
Summit attendees also heard from special guests, including U.S. Representatives Darren Soto and Laurel Lee and U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Southeast Regional Administrator Willie C. Taylor.
“It was an honor to attend the Publix Hunger Summit and hear from food banks in our region on their efforts to combat food insecurity,” said Rep. Soto, Florida District 9. “After being recently appointed to the Agriculture Committee in Congress, I look forward to working alongside these organizations to ensure we are prioritizing our communities’ needs in the upcoming Farm Bill. My office will advocate for increased funding for key programs, a streamlined application process for families in need and much more.”
“Ending hunger is an issue that is very dear to my heart,” said Rep. Lee, Florida District 15. “My time serving with ECHO of Brandon and the Open Arms Ministry at Hyde Park United Methodist Church showed me the need to address food insecurity in our community. Resources like food banks are a vital part of ensuring people in need have access to critical support. I appreciate Publix’s dedication to bringing together local partners to address hunger and identify community-based solutions to support families.”
“Healthy food is a lifeline for everyone,” Taylor said during the hunger summit. “We are thankful to our partners that provide consistent and equitable access to nutritious food to families across America and for pledging to support USDA’s Healthy Kids Initiative as an ongoing effort to combat hunger.”
Publix Super Markets Charities
During the summit, representatives from Publix Super Markets Charities (PSMC) announced a special $4 million grant opportunity available to select food banks in Publix’s operating area to fund non-recurring, capacity-building projects. This grant opportunity is in addition to PSMC’s annual hunger alleviation donations announced in September during Hunger Action Month. It will bring the organization's total contributions to help alleviate hunger to more than $46 million since 2015.
“We are grateful to Publix Super Markets Charities for their continued generosity in helping to alleviate hunger,” Jones said.
Attendees also heard an update on PSMC’s donation to fund 22 mobile food pantries announced last year. The mobile food pantries will help these agencies provide food to the people they serve. Publix is donating more than 10 million pounds of produce to stock 20 of the mobile pantries in their first year of operation.
Feeding More Together
Publix invites the community to help alleviate hunger through the company’s Feeding More Together (FMT) register campaign currently in stores. Feeding More Together runs through March 5 and allows customers and associates to donate at the register to help nourish communities by providing nonperishable food to local food banks and pantries. And as part of the spring FMT campaign, Publix is donating $5 million in fresh produce.
Publix, the largest employee-owned company in the U.S. with more than 240,000 associates, currently operates 1,328 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. For 25 consecutive years, the company has been recognized by Fortune as a great place to work. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized among the top in the grocery business. For more information, visit the company’s newsroom at corporate.publix.com/newsroom.