Hospitality workers across Beaufort County are joining Second Helpings’ food rescue program.
This partnership is being funded through the Lowcountry Community COVID-19 Response Fund, an initiative of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. In just 10 days, they raised $100,000, an amount matched by Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. The Wexford Charitable Foundation also found merit in this program and donated to support the hospitality workers.
“The grant will provide extra income to hospitality workers, while supplementing the gaps in volunteers,” explained Lili Coleman, Second Helpings’ executive director. “Some Second Helpings’ volunteers are unable to assist during this pandemic due to their ages or pre-existing conditions. Our goal is to continue to rescue food to help the many people now facing food insecurity.”
SERG Restaurant Group employees who are either out of work or working reduced hours due to the pandemic, meet the Second Helpings’ trucks on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton.
Their daily assignment will be to follow in their own vehicles and load rescued food on Second Helpings’ refrigerated trucks, while practicing social distancing. They will also assist in distributing the food to local food pantries. Second Helpings’ volunteers train the workers and receive wages through the grants, on average 25 hours a week per worker. This program will assist food rescue efforts on Hilton Head Island, in the Greater Bluffton area, Jasper County, Beaufort and in Hampton County.
Second Helpings’ President Jo Pender welcomes the novel approach to rescuing food. “This pandemic is prompting non-profits, including Second Helpings, to be more creative in how we assist our food agencies. We are grateful to Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and the Wexford Charitable Foundation for their support. Each of us can help ensure that our neighbors have food for their families.”
“This is a wonderful idea and truly a win-win,” said Graham Silcox, Hilton Head volunteer and a day captain.
Alan Wolf, Director of Operations, said, “The SERG Restaurant Group is grateful for this opportunity to provide workers to assist Second Helpings with food rescue during the COVID-19 crisis. The funds generated through the grant work will go directly to supporting SERG Restaurant Employees with needs during this crisis.”
This is just one effort by Second Helpings to assist the growing need to fight hunger. Individual donations provide food to the families in Hampton County affected by the tornados and to rescue food anywhere to prevent food waste.
Second Helpings is also collecting nonperishable food and sanitation items. Donors can bring their donations to three convenient locations in Beaufort County:
- the Community Center in Sun City
- Grayco Hardware Parking Lot, 20 Sams Point Way in Beaufort
- Second Helpings’ office on Hilton Head Island at 4 Northridge Dr.
For safe distancing,they ask donors to load their donations in the back of Second Helpings’ trucks. The items will be quarantined for three days and then distributed to the agencies most in need.
Second Helpings also accepts donations to help pay for food. The board of directors has designated $40,000 from their budget through the end of May. Donate today at secondhelpingslc.org, or send a check to Second Helpings, P. O. Box 23621, Hilton Head, SC 29925.