Make us your home page
Instagram

Does Publix throw away returned food and water? Maybe donate unused hurricane supplies instead

Shoppers stocking up for Hurricane Irma line up to pay for bottled water even before a Publix store on east Hillsborough Avenue opened for business 9/6/17. [SUE CARLTON   |   Times]

Shoppers stocking up for Hurricane Irma line up to pay for bottled water even before a Publix store on east Hillsborough Avenue opened for business 9/6/17. [SUE CARLTON | Times]

Now that the storm has passed, people may be inclined to return their food supplies back to the store.

However, it's important to keep in mind that Publix and other grocers will throw away perishable items. Perhaps a better alternative would be donating water and supplies to nonprofits.

"Any perishable product returns to our stores must be discarded," said Publix media and community relations manager Brian West. "But customers may donate directly to their local food banks."

However, rumors spreading via social media that Publix stores will throw away any food items that are returned are not true. Bottled water and other non-perishable items can go back on store shelves.

"When a non-perishable product is returned, our store associates assess the quality and return it to the shelf if it meets our standards," a Publix spokesperson said via the company's Facebook page.

A Metropolitan Ministries official said Tuesday it would welcome nonperishable donations, as well as breads, muffins and other such foods in packages that haven't been opened.

The need is great for those who find themselves without power. It'll open its outreach centers in Tampa and New Port Richey on Wednesday looking to help those in need, and its asking for donations of generators, flashlights, batteries for existing flashlights, nonperishables and bottled water.

At Metropolitan Ministries' New Port Richey location, maintenance is onsite to repair minor damages. A team is working there to see how it can serve Outreach clients with or without power beginning Wednesday.

"At our Tampa campus, we will be feeding our residents and local community with the help of Feeding America, Salvation Army, and community partnerships," said Justine Burke, MetMin's senior director of marketing of communications. "We will not be able to provide meals to off campus Meal Sites until power is restored."

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is working with corporate partners for donations, but said the best way individuals can help is through monetary donations. Dulcinea N. Kimrey, divisional communications director for the Army, said donations specifically earmarked "Hurricane Irma" will go directly to local efforts.

The organization's mobile kitchens are working directly with emergency operations centers in the state and will likely move into the area on Wednesday. It's a concerted effort to help assist first responders and survivors get back on their feet, and it has staff and volunteers coming from the Eastern Seaboard and as far away as Canada.

The easiest way people can give is by going to helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-Sal-Army or text the word "Storm" to 51555. 

Does Publix throw away returned food and water? Maybe donate unused hurricane supplies instead 09/12/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 3:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Unemployment claims double in Florida after Hurricane Irma

    Business

    The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 23,000 last week to 259,000 as the economic impact of Hurricane Harvey began to fade.

    Homes destroyed by Hurricane Irma on Big Pine Key last week. Hurricane Irma continued to have an impact on the job market in Florida, where unemployment claims more than doubled from the previous week.
[The New York Times file photo]
  2. Calling it a 'dangerous precedent,' Tampa chamber opposes city tax increase

    Retail

    TAMPA — Calling the possibility a "dangerous precedent," the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce on Thursday took the rare step of opposing City Hall's proposal to raise Tampa's property tax rate because of its impact on business.

    The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce voted against supporting a city tax hike on commercial property. Pictured is Bob Rohrlack, CEO of the chamber. | [Times file photo]
  3. Did Hurricane Irma speed the end of Florida orange juice?

    Agriculture

    Hurricane Irma plundered Florida's orange belt, leaving a trail of uprooted trees, downed fruit and flooded groves worse than anything growers say they have seen in more than 20 years.

    A large number of oranges lie on the ground at the Story Grove orange grove in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 13, 2017, in Lake Wales. [Photo by Brian Blanco | Getty Images]
  4. St. Petersburg's newest hotel opens with craft beers, cocktails and Cozy Corners

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last spring, Ryan Tarrant applied for a job with the new Hyatt Place nearing completion in downtown St. Petersburg. Among the questions an interviewer asked:

    What does this hotel need to succeed?

    Hybar, a bar area with outdoor seating  that will feature craft drinks and Sunday brunch starting Oct. 1, is ready to open at the new Hyatt Place hotel at  25 2nd St. N in downtown St. Petersburg. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  5. Culver's crosses into Brandon near Selmon Expressway

    Business

    BRANDON — Like many children, Theresa Hutchins recalls pleading with her parents to take her for ice cream.

    Theresa Hutchins and her fianc? Mike Carelli opened the Tampa Bay area’s newest Culver’s August 28 in Brandon at 2470 S Falkenburg Road.