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Publix to donate 1.3 million pounds of food to Florida food banks

About 342,000 pounds will be donated to Feeding Tampa Bay.
Credit: First Coast News

LAKELAND, Fla. — Food banks have been stretched thin as more and more families have turned to those organizations with greater need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Publix announced it'll donate about 1.3 million pounds of food during the next several weeks at six of Florida's largest food banks. About 342,000 pounds of pasta, canned vegetables, canned beans, cereal and boxed potatoes will be sent over just to Feeding Tampa Bay.

Now's the time to help, the grocery chain says, as more than 2.7 million people in Florida are struggling with hunger. That's about one in eight people.

The pandemic has worsened the situation and now, the holidays are in full swing.

"When we heard from food banks that they were facing a critical food shortage, we knew that, as a food retailer, we had another opportunity to help," Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a news release. "With 90 years of relationships and expertise, we are able to mobilize quickly — sourcing, purchasing and transporting what these food banks need most — and bring hope and nourishment this holiday season."

Feeding Northeast Florida, Feeding South Florida, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Treasure Coast Food Bank join Feeding Tampa Bay in receiving the donations.

Publix said this latest program is in addition to one launched in April. Since then, the company has bought surplus produce and milk from farmers and donated it to food banks.

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