“No man is an island…I am involved in mankind,” wrote John Donne in 1624. That philosophy blossoms today on St. Helena Island, home of Dempsey Farms, the newest food donation partner of Second Helpings. As part of Second Helpings’ mission and their expanded Food Source Initiative, the charity is always seeking new food sources, especially providers of fresh produce Consequently, “we are thrilled to add Dempsey Farms as our newest food donation partner, “ explained Maureen Korzik, Second Helpings’ Executive Director.
“I was fortunate to pick up some big juicy strawberries still in season, and some beans and squash,” she said after a recent visit to the farm. “I ate half the green beans on the way home. Munching on those beans reminded me of my childhood when my mother would pile all eight kids in the big station wagon and take us to the local farm in New Jersey, the Garden State, to purchase our vegetables and enjoy the fresh air. Thanks to the Dempsey family’s sharing, some Lowcountry children will know the joy of fresh fruit and veggies in their youth, as I did in mine. We thank the Dempsey family for partnering with us in our quest to end hunger in the Lowcountry.”
Korzik continued, “Our Food Network services three primary areas: Hilton Head, Bluffton and Beaufort. Each Volunteer Team has a refrigerated truck to use for their assigned pickups and deliveries. The food gets picked up in the morning and is delivered the same day. The end goal is to make sure our Fulfillment Agencies can meet the needs of their clientele.”
Dempsey Farms has been a family run business for almost 60 years, started shortly after J.W. Dempsey moved his young family to Beaufort. They initially sold their produce to businesses, but in the early 1970’s added a “U- Pick It” option for the public. By the early 1990’s this proved so popular that they no longer supply businesses. The farm is on 170 acres of land just off of Sea Island Parkway, where they grow several kinds of vegetables and fruits. Strawberry season is over, but green beans, squash, corn, melon, tomatoes and peppers will be available through June and July.
Davis V. Dempsey, J.W.’s grandson, now runs the farm stand. He has a variety of fresh-picked vegetables ready to purchase for those who prefer not to venture into the fields. You can visit the Dempsey Farm website (www.dempseyfarmsupick.com) or like them on Facebook to get a schedule of products available. Go to www.secondhelpingslc.org to learn more about Second Helpings and their program.
Top photo: Son and father, Davey Dempsey & Davis Dempsey. Photo by Cesar Garcia.