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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — On Wednesday evening, United Way recognized Publix Super Markets with two Summit awards for philanthropic engagement and community impact, the two companies announced Thursday.
Publix's 2011 United Way campaign raised $45.6 million — a 12% increase over 2010 — plus associates' per capita gifts exceeded the food industry average by 398%. Publix associates also volunteered 900,000 hours, including more than 1,500 associates serving on United Way and nonprofit boards.
"Community service is a way of life for Publix and its associates," stated Brian Gallagher, United Way Worldwide president and CEO. "Their incredible generosity and commitment to improving communities is an important part of their heritage. Together, we've been able to make a positive, lasting impact in countless people's lives."
Publix leveraged its 1,051 stores by communicating United Way on 220 million grocery bags, reaching 40 million customers. Publix also shared education messages with parents by featuring Born Learning education tips on store shelf signs and including them in customer newsletters like Baby Club and Preschool Pals. Further, Publix Super Markets Charities chairman and CEO Carol Barnett worked with United Way of Central Florida to bring the Success By 6 national model to Central Florida, and helped grow it from one county to many more throughout Florida and the Southeast. Success By 6 is a United Way communitywide early childhood initiative that ensures children are ready to succeed in school and life by age 6.
Publix also is involved in Let's Grow, an early literacy effort that has demonstrated up to 76% improvement in state assessment scores at childcare centers.
"I am so proud to be a part of Publix," commented Barney Barnett, vice chairman of Publix. "It's not just a supermarket; it's a group of kindhearted, energetic, effective people who are dedicated to doing the right thing, and who make our world better each and every day."
Publix ranked No. 1 on the Corporate Social Responsibility Index as determined by the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.
The Spirit of America and Summit Awards program, celebrating its 25th year, is United Way's highest national honor for corporations, recognizing United Way Global Corporate Leaders with the most comprehensive commitments to strengthening communities. Applicants are evaluated by corporate peers and local United Ways.