Publix is moving to combat some of the negative publicity it has received lately by making a big donation toward hunger relief.
Publix Super Markets Charities announced Thursday that it will donate $5 million to more than 240 nonprofit organizations, including Feeding America member food banks, focused on alleviating hunger across Publix’s operating area. The donation will provide funding to assist these nonprofit organizations in the nourishment of children, seniors and families in need.
“Feeding America is thankful to Publix and Publix Charities for their long-standing commitment to fighting hunger in communities across the southeast,” said Matt Knott, president of Feeding America. “One in eight Americans are at risk of hunger. This investment in programs and infrastructure will help food banks and their agency partners provide millions of meals to children, seniors and families who need them most.”
The donation announcement comes after news reports earlier this year that Publix’s owners and executives donated $670,000 over the past three years to Adam Putnam, a Republican candidate running for Florida governor. The donations prompted public outcry, boycotts and protests.
Publix released the following statement after the boycotts:
“We regret that some of our political contributions have led to an unintentional customer divide instead of our desire to support a growing economy in Florida. ... As a result of this situation, we are evaluating our processes to ensure that our giving better reflects our intended desire to support a strong economy and a healthy community.”
Despite the negative publicity, Publix has received a number of awards recently, including being chosen as one of the best workplaces for millennials. Fortune surveyed more than 434,000 millennials in its "Great Place to Work" survey. Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1998, make up about 45 percent of Publix’s workforce. In addition to being named one of the best workplaces for millennials, Publix was also named one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for 21 consecutive years
Over the past four years, Publix Super Market Charities has contributed more than $17 million to hunger-related programs.
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