Supermarket chain Publix announced Tuesday that it is purchasing fresh produce and excess milk directly from farmers and donating the goods to food banks to help those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Farmers across the state of Florida have left acres of fruits and vegetables to rot because they are unable to sell them to restaurants and schools due to nationwide shutdowns.
The company said the initiative will help these struggling farmers and provide food to scores of Americans in need.
"Publix will donate these products directly to Feeding America member food banks in its operating area," Publix said in a statement. "The initiative will support Florida produce farmers, southeastern dairy farmers and the growing number of families looking to Feeding America for fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk during the coronavirus pandemic."
The campaign launched Wednesday and "is expected to run for several weeks." More than 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk were donated during the first week of the initiative, according to the supermarket chain.
Publix Super Markets Charities also made donations totaling $2 million to help Feeding America's member food banks.