Second Helpings benefiting Beaufort
By Noel Tillman
The exclaimer in the title above sounds like a humorous radio gig a decade ago where the Super Hero, Chicken Man, seemed to be everywhere doing one good deed or another. That is what a lot of folks in the greater Beaufort area say about an organization called Second Helpings. They are everywhere!
The question to ask now is “How much good are they doing in our community?” How about this fact: over 1 million pounds of food are delivered to 38 plus locations in and around Beaufort each year. The two trucks are on the road 7 days a week, zig zaging across northern Beaufort County, rescuing food from local supermarkets and other food suppliers and delivering to food pantries, churches, community centers, and shelters. The trucks average about 3500-4000 pounds of food each trip. The food is healthy, fresh, and most importantly, needed by the 20,000 customers who visit the drop-off sites for subsistence assistance. These neighbors of ours are mostly the working poor or adults and children that are in some kind of protective care. When seasonal migrant workers arrive in the area every spring to help with the produce harvest, they come with not much more than the basics in clothing. The Franciscan Center director, Sister Canice, says when they first arrive they are in need of “survival food support” and the center located on St Helena ensures it is given, but it would not be possible without the 80 volunteers that work the Second Helpings trucks and help at the local agencies.
Second Helpings is headquartered in the HHI/ Bluffton area where similar programs and work is being done. Maureen Korzik, the Executive Director of the program, cites affiliation with the national program that is endorsed by another national effort called Feeding America. You can visit You Tube- Feeding America to view short 3-4 minute videos and see what their program goals are for the nation.
How does an organization like Second Helpings stay afloat, pay for the truck operation, a small office staff, and the myriad of responsibilities good 501C non-profit organizations must employ to remain effective?
Supermarket chains like Publix, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Food Lion, Bi Lo, Kroger and Harris Teeter, keep the surplus food coming. Major donors like the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, United Way, and the Beaufort Fund, churches and individual donations are generous in their support.
Annual fund raisers and countless efforts to include hotdog sales, canned goods collections, and more are also valuable. The back bone of the organization really is the volunteers. Men and women who are helping with the food distribution program, while others donate their time and talent helping with fund raising events, administrative tasks, advisory board duties, marketing efforts, and more. Many of the volunteers have been serving 10,11,12,13 years. Some “retire” a second time and so the need for more help is constant. The local Volunteer Coordinator, Cesar Garcia, can be contacted at 843-441-4601.
So the next time you see the Second Helpings truck on the road, at some of the stops like Help of Beaufort, Our Ladies Pantry, The Franciscan Center, CAPA, local churches, and at local events like the recent Jaycees Oyster Roast, think, Oh yes, They are EVERYWHERE, and that could not happen without the continuous support of volunteers.