Grocery shoppers may not know it, but Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets has collaborated with March of Dimes for over 20 years, contributing more than $65 million to ensure healthy pregnancies and births for Florida’s families.
Now, March of Dimes president Jennifer Howse announced at the March of Dimes’ recent annual summer conference, Publix has become the organization’s first March for Babies corporate partner in 30 years as well as the number one partner for the year: 2016’s joint fundraising effort yielded over $7.3 million — representing an increase of 18 percent over the previous year for the second time.
"We congratulate Publix, their associates, and customers for this outstanding accomplishment," Howse said. "Publix's commitment to our goal of giving every baby a fighting chance has been unwavering for 21 years. The impact of this generous contribution to help fight premature birth, the leading cause of death among babies in the United States, is significant and substantial."
The nonprofit March of Dimes has worked for healthy neonatal outcomes for over 75 years, advocating for research, education, and health care breakthroughs. Its annual March for Babies walkathon fundraiser — “America’s favorite walking event” — is slated every April across the U.S.
"I'd like to give a big thank you to the more than 180,000 associates across our company who give of themselves every day in our stores and communities,” Publix CEO & president Todd Jones said. “Our people truly make the difference, and without them, we wouldn't have been able to achieve our stellar campaign results. And with the passion of our associates, comes the generosity of our customers. We've always said, we have the best customers in the industry. And each year, they rise to the occasion to support healthy babies."