September 2017

September is Hunger Awareness Month

Author: Special to CH2

Hunger affects more people than most of us realize. In fact, right here in the Lowcountry, we live comfortably near people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Hunger in our community touches seniors, veterans, disabled, children and families. In South Carolina, over 18 percent of the population is food insecure.
For 26 years, Second Helpings, a local nonprofit organization serving three counties, has recruited volunteers to drive their trucks and rescue food to give to agencies handing out food to those in need. Founded in 1992 by Hilton Head Island residents Guenther and Louise Hecht, Second Helpings continues to grow as the local population grows, especially in Bluffton, Beaufort and Jasper County.

“Last year, Second Helpings rescued and distributed food free-of-charge, racking up some pretty significant numbers to show their impact on our local community,” said Jan Malinowski, board president of Second Helpings and president of Palmetto State Bank on Lady’s Island. “We helped feed over 22,000 people.

“Every pound of food we transport, every agency we stock, every person we feed is the result of local grant awards and individual donations,” she explained. “This is all made possible because we have a community who cares and supports local agencies.”

Second Helpings works with 30 food donors, representing retail, farms and restaurants. Last year, they picked up over 2.5 million pounds of food with seven refrigerator trucks. This was possible because they have recruited 310 volunteers on Hilton Head Island, in Bluffton and in Beaufort to load and deliver food every day of the year. In 2016, these volunteers clocked over 30,000 hours and drove over 85,000 miles to deliver to 60 agencies.

“We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers,” said Lili Coleman, executive director of Second Helpings. “We not only rescued over $4.5 million worth of food, but this food, if not rescued, would cost our community money, because food tossed has an economic impact. I was amazed when I learned that for one egg thrown away, 55 gallons of water is wasted. I know we can all agree that water is a precious resource.

“We just want everyone to realize that hunger can affect any one of us with one change in our lives,” Coleman continued. “A sudden illness can prevent someone from working; an elderly person who depended on their spouse’s income faces food insecurity because of death; a child’s illness can prevent a working parent from holding down a job. We are reaching out this September to build awareness of hunger in the Lowcountry and the important role Second Helpings plays.”

Second Helpings is a United Way agency. For more information, to make a tax-deductible donation, or to volunteer, visit or call (843) 689-3689.

Shop Kroger or AmazonSmile? Be sure to sign up and designate Second Helpings as your agency of choice. There is no cost to you and funds are mailed to Second Helpings quarterly.

Share the Bounty
Share the Bounty, Second Helpings’ annual fundraising event, will be held at the Champion Ballroom in the clubhouse of the famed Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines Resort on Thursday, September 21. Tickets are $100 per person, and all proceeds benefit Second Helpings. This event includes a fabulous dinner, silent and live auction items, entertainment and a chance to do your part to help eradicate hunger in the Lowcountry. For tickets and more information, contact or call Second Helpings at (843) 689-3689.

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