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    Are You Being Cheated On?

    $36.4 Million Check-Out Donations Funded by Customers

    Corporation gets all the credit and tax benefits at very little cost

    by Heather Smith
    Political Writer

    I recently went grocery shopping to Publix, a popular supermarket chain in Florida.

    They have 1147 stores located throughtout the southeast, with Florida being home to the majority of their stores and their corporate head quarters.

    For the 2016 fiscal year they sold $34 billions in goods and services, and had $2.03 billions in net earnings.

    They donated a lot of money last year. But not much affected their bottom line.

    They are member of the community, employing 190,000 people. If you are in Florida, you are likely to be within a 10 to 15 minute drive from one. And that's if you do not live in a densely populated area. In a metropolitan area, there is a Publix within a 2 minute drive.

    For the last few years at the checkout register, I have been asked if I would like to make a donation. Last week the cashier asked me if I wanted to make a donation to the March of Dines.

    In my opinion the March of Dines is a worthy charity, deserving of our donations.

    The few weeks before that I was asked to donate to a different charity.

    On their corporate website, Publix has listed all the charities they work with. A total of 8 worthy charities. Plus they partner up with local charities in the communities particular stores are located.

    I applaud giving back to the community.

    But the question I would like to have answered is this:

    “How much of Publix's donations come from the 2.03 billion dollar profit margin at the end of the year, and how much of those donation come directly from the shopper?

    On several occasions, I have asked the cashier for clarification.

    I asked a silly question to the cashier, ''What does Publix do with donations?''

    I always get the same answer, ''We donate 100% to such-and-such ABC charity''.

    Then, I follow up,''Does Publix match the funds?''

    ''What do you mean'', she says.

    ''Does Publix contribute the same amount or more to the charity, adding to what we, the customer, donated?''

    ''I don't know,'' she said. ''No one has ever asked me that question?''

    First, I think the employees should know. After all, if they bought into the company's share buying program they are part owners.

    Publix is not publicly traded. Only Publix employees can buy its stocks.

    I trust Publix. I think they are donating 100 percent of the donated funds.

    During the last year, and up the beginning of 2017 these are some the donations they made, according to the information on their website:

    Feeding America: $5 millions
    Food for Sharing:1$4 millions
    Children's Mirracle:$4.6 millions
    March of Dimes: $7.1 millions
    Special Olymtics: $5.7 millions

    So far that's $36.4 millions.

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    There is more. They partner with local charities. They help schools buy with school supplies, etc. They are helping people who need help.

    They are truly making the world a better place.

    I emailed their Customer Service, Contact Us, on their website, asking for more informaton about their Corporate Campaigns.

    I received this prompt response. Read response

    In the spirit of full disclouse, I have to say that I did not ask directly if they match the donations customers make.

    I have four reasons to believe that they do not:

    1-The employees do not know if the company matches donations. If they matched the donation, any marketing, or internal Public Relations team would make sure that every employees is telling customers about it.

    2-They do not address the subject on their website. Again if they match donations, they would want the public to know. The company's website is a good place for this.

    3-When I emailed them asking for more information. This was not voluntaraly addressed by Customer Service. Again, I believe that if they match the funds, they would want to tell us.

    4-An article in the Huffington Post last year addressed this trend. The writer points out that not all companies match donations. But some companies do match dollar for dollar the customer's donations. I personally know of at least one.

    The writer pointed out that companies get to write off the donations during tax season.

    According to U.S Code section 170(c), corporation can write off their charitable donation up to the amount eqaul to 5% of their taxable income.

    It gets better:

    They can carry over the remaining amount to the following year, and so on and on.

    Publix, also likes to make political donations.

    During 2016, according to the data at Open Secrets , they donated $623,583.00.

    If we compare their political donations to the charitable donations totaling $34.6 millions, we see there is a big difference. The charitable donations win by a big margin.

    It is illegal to have a checkout political fund raising event at a super market.

    So, political donations come out from the bottom line.

    To fully understand how they like to donate their funds, we have to look at the break down for the political donations.

    I believe that where Publix places their donations is where their political heart beats.

    When we take a look at the break down by Republican vs. Democrat or Independent, Incumbent vs. Non-Incumbent, we can concluded that Publix is a Republican Corporation that favors the status quo.

    For every $1.00 they donated to a Democrat, $3.00 were donated to Republicans, and for every $1.00 donated to a non-incumbent, $66.00 were donated to the incumbent.

    For more information about this visit www.opensecrets.org.

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    There is nothing wrong with being a Republican Corporation that favors the status quo.

    I just like to know the full picture.

    The political and charitable donations from a person or corporation say a lot about the corporation or person.

    Charitable donations to an honest, hard working charitable organization make a difference to those who are in need of their service.

    Publix wants to help.

    In the current political climate, political donations are about getting something for your money.

    Question: What does Publix want from elected officials?

    Answer: Laws that are just and favorable to them.

    In the spirit of full disclosure this information should be provided to the public.

    Why?

    Because when We shop at Publix, We are supporting what they support with their donations.

    Even if the profit from a gallon of milk is small, and even if only a small percentage of that profit ends up in the campaign financial sheet of an elected official.

    May be only one penny from our $20.00 grocery bill ends up supporting a politician whose views we do not like. But it is still a penny. Still adds up. It is a vote. It becomes our vote.

    We are asking for transparency.

    We ask that Publix puts forward a statement addressing the scope of their political donations.

    This information is public information anyway. Check out Open Secrets.

    They should match the funds the collected at the register. That would long away to enhance an already positive public image.

    That's an additional $35 millions donated to worhthy charities.

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