Ethical Eating

Publix Chooses 2-1-1 Broward as Charity Beneficiary For Holiday Season

It happens every time you're about to pay in the check out line at Publix this time of year. "Would you like to make a donation for Food For All?" 

Sometimes you throw in a buck. Sometimes you don't. But have you ever thought about what you're where you're money is actually going? We're guessing, no.

Well, this holiday season--until December 24--2-1-1 Broward will be receiving funds. And they actually cover quite a lot. More details after the jump.

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For $1, $3, or $5 coupons, Publix customers can choose to make a tax-free donation to the Food For All holiday drive at any Miami division Publix--that includes Broward and Palm Beach counties. During last year's drive, the company raised $1.8 million, which benefitted over 70 local nonprofits.

This year, 2-1-1 Broward will be one of the beneficiaries. The nonprofit, which serves as a crisis hotline works with 40,000 programs in Broward county. The trained counselors--all of whom have degrees in social work--answer calls try to figure out the exact issue of each caller to determine how to help. According to Tracy Schuldiner, Director of Events and Corporate Relations for 2-1-1 Broward, "Our hope is that just like 411 or 911, people will know that they can call us when they need help. We just need people to know that we're here."

"A person will oftentimes call about one thing and get information about other services and resources that are available to them. We are the suicide hotline, so our team is fully equipped to take care of people in terms of suicide prevention, but we also have connections for homeless shelter hotlines, bullying resources, LGBT issues, domestic violence, mortgage nonprofits, parents dealing with special needs children and so many others. We have a service in which we call senior citizens to check in on them and make sure they're doing fine. Our services run the gamut," says Schuldiner.

Last year, the hotline received 109,549 total calls, most of which related to basic needs: food, shelter, electricity, abuse, neglect. Over 40% of those calls affected children. 

According to Schuldiner, "We're really trying to spread the word through transportation--buses and benches--and social media. Hard times do not discriminate from a zip code. We want to be here for everyone."

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Sara Ventiera