Last updated on April 29th, 2016 at 02:18 pm
On Wednesday, more than 4,500 Publix Super Markets associates across the company’s six operating states volunteered with more than 130 local nonprofit organizations whose focus is primarily on the plight of the hungry and homeless. Retiring CEO Ed Crenshaw spent his last day on the job leading the effort.
This year’s companywide day of service was an extension of the more than $4 million contribution made to Habitat for Humanity affiliates across Publix’s operating area and the $1.5 million donation to Feeding America and their member food banks by Publix Super Markets Charities in last year’s fourth quarter. The company vowed to have associates volunteer to build homes where feasible to complement the foundation’s generous gifts. Other service projects will support youth and education projects, which also are pillars of Publix’s philanthropic outreach.
In the company’s second annual day of service, associates gave of their time and talents, along with a donation of approximately $1,000 per district. The funds were used to purchase items for Habitat house builds, food pantries, soup kitchens, backpack programs, senior meal boxes and beautification efforts just to name a few.
Crenshaw spent his last office day visiting and volunteering alongside Publix associates at nonprofit agencies in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
“Ed has given our company so much throughout his 42-year career,” said Maria Brous, Publix director of media and community relations. “He has always led by example and with a compassionate heart. He’s declared Publix the best company in the world because of our people and has always recognized the generosity and impact our associates have made when challenged to make a difference. It is only fitting that he spend his last day giving back to our communities, a lesson he learned first-hand from his grandfather and our company founder, George Jenkins.”
Jenkins 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.” He believed in the importance of giving, and he set the example for being involved in the community. He felt giving back was an investment, a responsibility and a privilege.
The company launched Publix Serves in 2015 as its community program that unites its more than 179,000 associates in community service efforts.