Farmers across the country are dumping milk due to drastically reduced demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the supermarket chain Publix announced it would take some of the surplus off of their hands and donate it.
Publix said in a press release Wednesday that it will purchase fresh produce and milk from farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and donate the goods directly to Feeding America food bank in its “operating area.”
???? With milk prices plunging lower, dairy farmers are dumping the product to curb an oversupply during the #coronavirus lockdown.
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) April 16, 2020
Specifically, the initiative will help Florida produce farmers and southeastern dairy farmers, according to the statement. During the first week alone, 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk are expected to be donated. (RELATED: Trump Announces $19 Billion Relief Plan For US Farmers)
“As a food retailer, we have the unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the needs of families and farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in the statement. “In this time of uncertainty, we are grateful to be able to help Florida’s produce farmers, southeastern dairies and families in our communities.”
The project was started Wednesday and is expected to run for several weeks.
Over the past several weeks, dairy farmers have produced more product than they can manage given the mass shutdowns at the restaurant and food service level despite an increase in milk sales at grocery stores, according to PBS.
There were also disruptions in the supply chain, preventing some farmers — especially in the dairy industry — from sending supplies to processing plants.