JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Harvest North Florida and Publix Supermarkets, Inc., announced today the roll-out of a store donation program that will generate thousands of pounds of important food resources annually for families experiencing need in northeast Florida.
The program provides both perishable and nonperishable items from 69 stores in the 18-county area served by Second Harvest, the region’s Feeding America member food bank. Second Harvest trucks have already begun making pickups twice weekly from Publix stores – including 53 locations in Duval, Clay, Nassau, Flagler and St. Johns counties.
“We are pleased to partner and be aligned with an organization that has a substantial brand and track record of serving those in need at the grass roots level. We believe this program will allow thousands of families to receive nutritious food in a timely manner especially during a down turned economy” said Dwaine Stevens media and community relations manager.
The Publix store donation program is also being enacted in other communities in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina – providing eight Feeding America food banks access to donations from 242 Publix stores. The company estimates it has already donated thousands of pounds of food to Feeding America food banks since the program’s pilot and rollout over 3 years ago. Grocery industry average donations range between 250 and 300 pounds of useable food each week per store, including foods like milk, bread, meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables.
“This program is incredibly important to our mission of feeding hungry people,” said Karen Rieley, interim executive director of the Second Harvest North Florida. “We are grateful to Publix for providing this invaluable community service which addresses a very real problem for our neighbors on the First Coast and beyond. These resources will translate into millions of meals for families experiencing hardship in north Florida.”
A formal announcement of the program was held at the Second Harvest North Florida warehouse this afternoon. At the presentation, Publix also presented a $26,211 donation to Second Harvest as part of the Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger. The donation was the result of an in-store promotion where customers made point-of-sale donations in support of local charities engaged in the fight against hunger.
Publix is privately owned and operated by its 147,500 employees, with 2010 sales of $25.1 billion. Currently Publix has 1,034 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. The company has been named one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 14 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized as tops in the grocery business, most recently by an American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. For more information, visit the company’s website, www.publix.com .
About Second Harvest North Florida
Second Harvest North Florida is the oldest and largest program of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida. LSS was founded in 1979 by area Lutherans and business leaders to fill gaps in services offered in the community for people in need. Second Harvest gathers food from local and national sources, shares these resources with more than 500 nonprofit organizations in 18 north Florida counties and helps thousands of people each year who are hungry or at risk of not having being able to provide food for themselves and their families. In addition to collecting and distributing food, Second Harvest serves children in after-school programs through its Kids Cafe and BackPack programs and in summer camps through its Summer Lunch program. It also takes Mobile Pantries filled with Family Boxes of food to people living in neighborhoods with the greatest needs. Call 904.730.8234 for more information about any of these programs and services.