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    Publix Collects Funds for Hurricane Wilma Relief Efforts

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- After experiencing a brush with Hurricane Wilma firsthand, Publix Super Markets here said yesterday it has established a program to offer its customers and associates a way to directly help those areas affected by the storm. Customers may donate any amount they choose by adding it to their grocery totals when checking out at Publix registers.

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- After experiencing a brush with Hurricane Wilma firsthand, Publix Super Markets here said yesterday it has established a program to offer its customers and associates a way to directly help those areas affected by the storm. Customers may donate any amount they choose by adding it to their grocery totals when checking out at Publix registers.

    All of the money collected will be channeled through United Way of Central Florida and its affiliated agencies, such as American Red Cross and The Salvation Army, Publix said. The program will continue for a few weeks, based on customer response.

    "Our customers and associates have trusted Publix to react quickly and help those areas affected by tragic circumstances. We are humbled by our communities' outpouring of support for our neighbors," said Maria Brous, director of media and community relations, in a statement.

    In a separate donation, Publix Super Markets Charities is donating $1 million to United Way of Central Florida for relief efforts for the areas affected by Wilma.

    Publix has 866 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.

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