Treasure Coast Food Bank has received $85,000 from Publix Super Markets Charities to aid its ongoing hunger relief efforts and help the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, Publix has helped Treasure Coast Food Bank significantly expand the fresh food it provides to people struggling with hunger by donating nearly 38,000 gallons of fresh milk and more than 400,000 pounds of produce.
Since April, the Florida-based grocer has purchased thousands of gallons of milk from southeastern dairy farmers and fresh produce from Florida growers, donating the food to Treasure Coast Food Bank and the other Feeding America food banks serving people in Publix markets.
“We’re extremely grateful to Publix, which has been a long-time partner and supporter of Treasure Coast Food Bank,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “We’re working every day to provide food to everyone impacted by COVID-19 on the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee County, and Publix is a big part of helping us do that.”
“We also appreciate that Publix has used its resources to provide milk and fresh produce during this crisis. With Publix purchasing milk and produce, not only does it benefit people needing food, but it benefits the farmers and the overall economy,” she said. “When people see that we have fresh milk for them, they’re overjoyed.”
Treasure Coast Food Bank received 416,287 pounds of produce and 37,615 gallons of fresh milk from Publix during the last four months. Those donations are continuing. The donations have helped to provide nutritious food to people across the four-county region as the need increased about 200 percent.
“Even as some people have been able to return to work, many have seen their hours cut. Others are trying to catch up on a backlog of expenses, but many are out of work completely as business cut staff or closed their doors completely,” Cruz said. “People will be recovering for years.”
Treasure Coast Food Bank has increased its drive-through Mobile Pantries and added curb-side pick-ups at its headquarters and home deliveries to people who can’t otherwise get food in efforts to reach people across the region.
In addition to distributing fresh produce, milk, meat and pantry staples, Treasure Coast Food Bank has prepared thousands of gallons of fresh-made soups in its food production kitchen from the bounty of vegetables it has received from Publix and directly from area farmers. Treasure Coast Food Bank is sharing the soup with other food banks across the state to provide ready-to-eat meals to people needing food.
ABOUT TREASURE COAST FOOD BANK
Treasure Coast Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization on Florida’s Treasure Coast, providing the community each year with millions of meals valued at more than $50 million through robust programs and in partnership with 400 charitable organizations in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties. In addition to emergency food distribution, Treasure Coast Food Bank operates a full roster of direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long-term food security, better health outcomes, and self-sufficiency. Treasure Coast Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. For more information on Treasure Coast Food Bank, call 772.489.3034, log on to stophunger.org, visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/tcfoodbank, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/tcfoodbank.