Publix employees giving back as part of grocer’s 85th anniversary

Publix employees will give back to the community through service projects Friday as part of the Florida-based company’s 85th anniversary.

As part of Publix’s 85th anniversary this year, some employees at stores across the Southeast will participate in community service projects.

In Charleston, about 50 Publix workers will gather Friday at Hampton Park near The Citadel to support Keep Charleston Beautiful, according to spokeswoman Kimberly Reynolds.

They will litter sweep and plant bushes and trees, among other beautification efforts as part of Publix Serves Day.

The Lakeland, Fla.-based chain presented $1,085 to different retail districts through its six-state footprint — $1,000 plus $85 to mark the anniversary of the founding in 1930 by George W. Jenkins.

The money will used to provide supplies for community efforts or to make donations to specific causes.

Jenkins believed that for any organization to be successful, it had to give back, and he set the example for his employees by giving his time, money and talent to the communities where the store operated, according to Publix’s website.

He was once asked, “Mr. George, how much do you think you’d be worth today if you hadn’t given away so much?” Without hesitation he responded, “Probably nothing.”

Publix operates 1,098 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. It has 12 stores in the greater Charleston area.

Consumer Reports recently ranked Publix the No. 2 supermarket chain in the U.S. No. 1 went to Wegmans in Upstate New York.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.