Martin Luther King (center), one of many 20th century political figures who considered it important to fight hunger: “When I die, don’t build a monument to me. Don’t bestow me degrees from great universities. Just clothe the naked. Say that I tried to house the homeless. Let people say that I tried to feed the hungry. / Public Domain Photograph

*

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”  Mahatma Gandhi

“For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in . . . Matthew 



For several reasons, I’m not particularly a fan of dairy products; however, just like  you, I’m sure, I am appalled to read about the dairy and produce that is being destroyed during the pandemic because it can no longer be delivered to restaurants, hotels, and schools. Destroyed! – while people go hungry in the U.S. and around the world.  

I do recognize that supply chains are a challenge and the packaging for consumer consumption requires different factory production operations and equipment from  those used for commercial distribution. Nonetheless, this issue is not insurmountable. Apparently Publix has done the job with milk and produce in its region. We need more to step forward and address this unconscionable situation throughout the United States.

If we have time – and in lockdown, I’m sure we do, it would be a good thing to use our writing skills to advocate conscientious distribution of food via letters to the editor, letters to legislations (national, regional, and local), letters to corporate farming, local family farms, and food production companies. Now would be the perfect time to publish blog posts and to write feature articles, creative nonfiction, and poems that highlight hunger and food production and distribution issues and solutions. 

Announcement from Publix:

More than 150,000 pounds of produce, 43,500 gallons of milk to be donated to Feeding America food banks during the first week of the initiative

LAKELAND, Fla., April 22, 2020 — Publix announced today a new initiative to purchase fresh produce and milk to assist farmers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Publix will donate these products directly to Feeding America member food banks in its operating area. 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. Kicking off today, the initiative is expected to run for several weeks.

“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,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “In this time of uncertainty, we are grateful to be able to help Florida’s produce farmers, southeastern dairies and families in our communities.”

According to Feeding America, an estimated 17.1 million additional people will experience food insecurity due to school closures and rising unemployment during the pandemic.

“As we respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Publix understands that more families are turning to us to help put food, especially fresh produce and milk, on their tables,” said Feeding South Florida President & CEO Paco Velez. “We’re grateful to Publix for not only supporting growers, but also for their years of support of Feeding South Florida.”

With numerous reports of farmers discarding produce and milk that isn’t being sold — mostly as a result of school, restaurant and hotel closures — Publix hopes to address the needs of both the farming community and its local partner food banks through this initiative.

“We are thrilled about Publix’s initiative to buy additional milk from Southeast Milk for processing and donation to Feeding America member food banks,” said Southeast Milk Inc. President Joe Wright. “It’s a win-win for our farmers who are feeling the impact of decreased demand and the families who are in need of nutrient rich milk during this pandemic.”

“Like so many others right now, Florida farmers are in a time of need. We are humbled Publix is purchasing additional fresh vegetables from us and other local farms to donate to food banks throughout the Southeast,” said Pero Family Farms Food Co. CEO Peter F. Pero IV. “Thank you to Publix, the participating food banks and their volunteers for making this initiative possible for those less fortunate while supporting local farms.”

“In addition to providing much needed produce and milk to food banks, this initiative provides financial support to farmers during this challenging time,” Publix’s Jones said. “We’re honored to be able to work with these groups and do good together for our communities.”

Throughout the company’s history, Publix has supported organizations working toward alleviating hunger in our neighborhoods. Since 2009, Publix has donated more than $2 billion in food to people in need and has pledged an additional $2 billion in food donations over the next 10 years.

Publix Super Markets Charities recently made donations totaling $2 million to support Feeding America member food banks during the pandemic.

RELATED:


Jamie Dedes:

Your donation HERE helps to fund the ongoing mission of The Poet by Day in support of poets and writers, freedom of artistic expression, and human rights.

Poetry rocks the world!



FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

Maintain the movement.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

4 Comments

Thank you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s