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More than 4,000 Publix associates across the company’s six operating states stepped up on April 17 to volunteer for some 125 local nonprofit organizations focusing on youth, education and/or the plight of the hungry and homeless as part of its first organized annual day of service.
Dubbed "Publix Serves" (#PublixServes), associates gave of their time and talents, along with $1,000 – plus $85 for their anniversary – per district, to help purchase items needed for food pantries, soup kitchens, backpack programs, beautification efforts and reading libraries, among others.
“Publix Serves celebrates our associates and embraces our communities," explained Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocery chain. "Community service is ingrained in our culture – it’s who we are. We serve our customers in our stores; we serve each other and our communities in times of need. There is nothing more gratifying than to hear and see the impact our associates make in our communities each and every day.”
Publix celebrates its 85th anniversary this year and is sharing with associates and customers lessons from their founder, George Jenkins. April’s lesson is Give Back, which evokes an exemplary quote of Jenkins, who was once asked how much he thought he would be worth if he hadn’t given so much away. Without hesitation he responded, “Probably nothing,” and in doing so, set the example of the importance of giving back and being involved in the community, which he felt was not only an investment and responsibility, but also a privilege.
Each month, a new lesson is shared on Publix’s corporate website.
With 2014 sales of $30.6 billion, the privately-owned and -operated Publix employs 175,000 in 1,098 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.