Golden Harvest gets big donation from Publix, joins city in grant
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Golden Harvest Food Bank received $65,000 from Publix Charities and 320,493 pounds of produce as part of the grocery store chain’s initiative to help Feeding America food banks.
Meanwhile, Golden Harvest Food Bank is partnering with the city of Augusta to apply for a multi-million dollar Department of Community Affairs Grant approved by city commissioners on Aug. 31. The funding of up to $5 million comes through the CARES Act. The city will be the lead applicant.
Golden Harvest Executive Director Amy Breitmann said the grant funds will allow it to build a new warehouse facility and space for its Community Impact team to distribute increased healthy food and build capacity and programs.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Golden Harvest Food Bank has seen calls for help double. At the height of the COVID, hunger rose by 22% in local communities, causing an increased need for food assistance. According to Feeding America’s projections, 1 in 7 people within the Food Bank’s 11,000 square mile service area are now struggling with hunger.
According to Feeding America, 10.9% of Americans are food insecure and that rate is even higher here: 12% of Georgians face hunger.
Since April 2020, Publix has donated more than 33 million pounds of produce to Feeding America member food banks like Golden Harvest.
Through the farmers and families initiative launched last year, the company purchased and donated more than 18 million pounds of produce and 500,000 gallons of milk to Feeding America member food banks. Publix purchased this produce and milk from Southeastern farmers who lost business as schools and restaurants closed due to the pandemic.
Additionally, every day in stores, associates gather wholesome, but unsellable dairy, deli and meat items as well as produce to donate to food banks throughout the company’s seven-state operating area.
In 2019, Publix announced the company had donated more than $2 billion through its food recovery program and pledged an additional $2 billion in food donations by 2030.
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