Grocery Chain Publix Will Buy Excess Food From Farmers to Give to Food Banks

In recent weeks, stories of farmers being forced to dump milk and destroy heaps of fresh produce have been juxtaposed with photos of cars lined up at food banks, an illustration of the surplus and scarcity that can coexist when there’s no easy way to get all the food meant for now-closed schools, hotels, and restaurants into the hands of consumers at grocery stores and pantries.

Supermarket chain Publix is seeking to close that gap between commercial and consumer food supply chains with a new initiative to buy fresh produce and milk from farmers impacted by the pandemic and donate the food directly to Feeding America food banks. 

“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,” Publix CEO Tood Jones said in an April 22 press release.

According to the grocer, which operates primarily around Florida and the southeast, more than 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk will be donated during the first week of the initiative.