Ponte Vedra Beach neighbors surprise Publix employees with pizza

Residents collect donations to feed employees and help local restaurant at the same time

Volunteers brought pizza to Publix employees on Friday as a way of saying thank you, while supporting a restaurant at the same time. (WJXT 2020)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Volunteers in Ponte Vedra Beach toted 15 pizzas and salads from Napoli’s Pastaria a few yards across the parking lot to the Publix on Friday.

It was one neighborhood’s way of saying thank you to grocery store employees, as well as a gesture to help a local family-owned restaurant stay in business.

Stacey Iofredo had heard other Palm Valley neighborhoods had shown their gratitude during the coronavirus pandemic by buying lunches for the employees at Publix.

“I knew that Plantation Oaks would want to get involved as well because we all love this little neighborhood Publix so much,” Iofredo said.

Neighbors in St. Johns County supporting Publix employees and a local restaurant with a free lunch to the Palm Valley Publix.

Within hours of putting a suggestion on the neighborhood’s Facebook page, she had collected hundreds of dollars for the employees of what locals like to call the “baby” Publix because it’s much smaller than others in the area.

“All of the neighbors that go to this baby Publix also go to Napoli’s all the time, so it was just a no brainer to include them,” Iofredo said.

Plantation Oaks raised so much money, the residents will be buying lunch for the more than 60 Publix employees at least two more times in the coming weeks.

The lunch delivery also included hand-made thank you cards from children in the neighborhood, which are now taped to the wall in the employee break room at the market.

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