“I Believe Helping The Community Is Vital”: How Publix Gives Back
Publix is in the community business. As a popular southeastern grocery chain with more than 90 years of experience supporting communities, their team sits at the intersection of community want and need. They support the shoppers planning great meals for their families and rally around the residents that need help putting enough food on the table.
That need increased substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic and Publix employees got a firsthand look at the challenges. That experience inspired their focus on supporting solutions to food insecurity through their annual United Way giving campaign.
From hosting a chicken pot pie drive that donated 400 pies to local nonprofits serving the Triangle community to donating $15,000 in gift cards to support families going back to school within United Way’s four-county footprint, Publix’s small in-store engagements impacted the immediate community needs that were arising in real time throughout the pandemic.
We recently caught up with Hannah Glochick, Customer Service Manager at one of Publix’s Cary locations and United Way Campaign Leader, to learn more about their efforts to give back during the pandemic.
- Giving back is built into Publix’s culture. How is Publix engaging community support in their efforts to give back this year?
This past year had been difficult with COVID, so a lot of stores focused on supporting organizations at the register, such as Feeding More Together, which raises money for the Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC. Also I believe Publix Charities has been donating more at the corporate level, such as the $33 million given to Feeding America in 2020.
Many associates have been experiencing personal/financial upheaval, so we appreciate the ability to rely on the Publix Emergency fund. There have been many associates helped by that this year, and I think it makes an impact on how connected associates feel to our community.
- Publix sits in a unique position in the community, being a location where everyone shops regardless of experience or means. What did you see during the pandemic that drove your goal of supporting United Way’s food insecurity focus?
There is still a lot of generalized anxiety from everyone about food supply and health safety, and more and more people are realizing all the different contributing factors. For example, how a plastic or aluminum shortage can surprisingly affect what ends up on the shelves. People are still buying more of everything, and we are still busier because they choose to stay home vs. visiting restaurants.
I feel there is much more awareness of community among everyone, and how much we all rely on each other, which does motivate us to be involved.