Publix foundation to donate $4M to Habitat for Humanity branches across Southeast

File/Grace Beahm/Staff Publix operates 12 stores in the Greater Charleston area, like this one that opened four years ago in the Market at Cane Bay in Berkeley County.

Three Charleston-area charities will benefit from $4 million being donated by Publix Super Market Charities to build new houses across the Southeast.

Charleston, Dorchester and Sea Island Habitat for Humanity branches will receive funding from the Florida-based grocer to build three new houses. The average price to sponsor a house is $77,000, according to Publix.

The grocer expects the money to provide funds to build 40 new houses in 2016 and support 60 affiliates currently supported by the foundation. Publix has been contributing to Habitat for Humanity for 26 years.

The donated funds are three times higher than any previous amount given in a year by the foundation.

“Every family deserves an opportunity to have a roof over their heads and food on their table,” said Carol Jenkins Barnett, president of Publix Super Markets Charities and daughter of company founder George Jenkins. “My father established our foundation in 1966 with a strong desire to see our communities thrive.”

Other Habitat branches in the Palmetto State to receive funding include Central South Carolina, Anderson, Greenville County and Spartanburg.

The new homes are expected to provide homes for about 200 people in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas. Publix employees will offer sweat equity to help build the houses, and the company will donate groceries to fill pantries in the new homes.

Publix, one of the highest-ranked supermarkets in the nation, operates 1,103 stores across the Southeast, including 12 in the Greater Charleston area.

Reach Warren L. Wise at (843) 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.