Hunger is a serious concern across Hillsborough County. Research shows that students who are hungry have trouble concentrating and a lack of a healthy, nutritious meal can affect a student’s emotional, social and cognitive learning.
In an effort to make an even larger impact on several communities, Publix has committed to donating a total of $45,000 across eight HCPS schools to jump start and maintain a food pantry.
“We are compelled to make this gift extend to build healthy, more invigorated communities. This seed money acknowledges Publix’s commitment to the families of Hillsborough County,” said Cindy Stuart, school board chair.
Local Publix employees have previously volunteered their time and dollars in supporting Mort in the school’s food pantry, as well as providing school beautification projects including eye-catching hallway murals.
Todd Jones, CEO of Publix thanked employees for continuing the organization’s corporate culture of service. “We remain committed to serving the communities in which Publix operates, and I couldn’t be more proud to work with such dedicated and caring individuals,” said Jones.
Representatives from each of the schools were surprised by the generous cash donation and are eager to provide this opportunity to their school communities. “One of our missions is to serve our students beyond the school day and this partnership allows us to do just that,” said Jaime Gerding, principal of Booker T. Washington Elementary.
The new food pantries at the awarded schools will serve as a pilot program. The district will measure and access the impact and sustainability of each food pantry on a yearly basis.