Publix will suspend political donations after protest by Parkland students

The grocery store had donated to the GOP gubernatorial candidate in Florida.

The grocery store chain Publix was on the defensive Friday evening after Parkland student activist David Hogg staged a "die in" over the store's donations to Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam.

Publix announced Friday it would suspend political donations in the wake of Hogg's organized protest.

"At Publix, we respect the students and members of the community who have chosen to express their voices on these issues," the grocery store said in a statement. "We regret that our contributions have led to a divide in our community. We did not intend to put our associates and the customers they serve in the middle of a political debate. At the same time, we remain committed to maintaining a welcoming shopping environment for our customers.

"We would never knowingly disappoint our customers or the communities we serve," the statement continued. "As a result, we decided earlier this week to suspend corporate-funded political contributions as we reevaluate our giving processes."

The grocery store has donated over $2.1 million to political candidates and political action committees (PACs) in the 2018 election cycle, according to the Florida Division of Elections. While only $3,000 was donated directly to Putnam from Publix, many of the PACs which received hundreds of thousands of dollars have relationships with Putnam's campaign.

Hogg tweeted "Together we can do anything" after the "die in" and news of the grocery store's halt to political donations.

Putnam is an outspoken supporter of the NRA. He tweeted on July 25, 2017, "The liberal media recently called me a sellout to the NRA. I'm a proud #NRASellout!" He was given an A+ by the NRA in its ratings in 2010.

Hogg started the momentum against Putnam and Publix in a tweet on May 22, when he called for people to stop shopping at the store until it rescinded its endorsement of the candidate.

Putnam has not commented on Hogg's activism.

ABC News' Amanda Maile contributed to this report.