There is a new way for visitors to Hilton Head Island to help feed the hungry: Post-Vacation Food Donation.
Second Helpings, a nonprofit food rescue organization, is partnering with property management companies to rescue food that tourists would otherwise throw away or leave behind at the end of their vacation.
Visitors are encouraged to drop off unopened, nonperishable groceries every Saturday from 8:00-11:00 am as they leave the Island. A Second Helpings truck, parked in front of Grayco Hardware and Home Store on Palmetto Bay Road will be open for donations. Residents of Hilton Head Island also are invited to drop off food.
With the support of Grayco, the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, and Second Helpings volunteers, the effort kicked off April 1.
Drop-off trucks will be on-site every Saturday through September 30. Donated food will be delivered by Second Helpings to Island food pantries, which distribute it to neighbors in need.
Several thousand people living or working on Hilton Head Island are food insecure. Many of them work in support of the tourism industry and help make visitors’ vacations memorable.
In the second week of the effort, on April 8, vacationers from Wisconsin, New York and several other states stopped by on their way off the Island to drop off food.
They welcomed the chance to help others while reducing food waste. Anyone who donates food will receive a tax donation form and may stop for a photo opportunity in front of the Second Helpings truck.
Executive Director Marcus Tanner said that starting this project has been a team effort, supported by property managers, the Chamber, and Grayco management in allowing the truck to be parked out in front each week. “Property managers have told us this is a brilliant idea that has their full support,” said Tanner. Food rescue is our business as our 368 volunteers rescued and delivered 3.2 million pounds of food in 2022. Most of this food was from grocery and big box stores. Individuals donating food at the end of their vacation is a new twist that we hope will gain traction and be successful.”
Second Helpings is asking for help in spreading the word about Post-Vacation Food Donation. A flyer and FAQs are available at www.secondhelpingslc.org/post-vacation_food_donation.
About Second Helpings:
Second Helpings is a nonprofit food rescue organization striving to eliminate hunger in the South Carolina Lowcountry. We collect and distribute food that would have otherwise ended up in landfills. Our 368 volunteers deliver 3.2 million pounds of food annually, free of charge, to over 50 agencies in Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton counties. Second Helpings is a United Way Agency. For more information, visit www.secondhelpingslc.org or call (843) 689-3689.