CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Lowcountry Food Bank received a $135,000 donation from Publix Super Markets Charities to buy fresh produce for those in need.

The grocery chain is donating $5.5 million to 300 Feeding America member food banks and other nonprofit organizations during Hunger Action Month, as part of their support to “alleviate hunger and help local communities within Publix’s operating area.”

According to the Lowcountry Food Bank, food insecurity among children in the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina rose 38% between 2019 and 2020 with more than 55,000 children unsure about their next meal.

The rise in food insecurity among adults in the same coastal counties climbed 29% during that same time span, representing more than 185,000 people who struggle with hunger, the organization said.

“We are so proud to work with Publix as a long-standing partner that always steps up and makes an enormous difference in the lives of the neighbors we serve,” said Nick Osborne, Lowcountry Food Bank President and CEO. “Publix understands that more and more families have turned to us to help put healthy food on the table during the pandemic, and Publix always helps bridge that gap, especially in tough times. We are grateful for their years and years of support and for the impact they make.”

“Having food on the table is an essential need that millions of people throughout our communities struggle with every day. As a food retailer, helping provide nourishing meals to our neighbors in need is at the heart of who we are,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “It is our privilege to join our customers in helping to alleviate hunger and do good together for our communities.”

The Lowcountry Food Bank distributed more than 30 million pounds of food across South Carolina’s coastal counties to those in need last year.