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Second Helpings Provides View into Pandemic’s Local Impact

The number of people needing food in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties increased by 30 percent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That is an estimate of the pandemic’s impact developed by Second Helpings, based on discussions with many of the local food pantries and soup kitchens it serves. Second Helpings is the South Carolina Lowcountry’s only nonprofit food rescue and distribution network,

While the amount of food rescued has returned to normal, about 30 percent more food is still needed every month to meet the current demand.

Second Helpings is filling this gap with non-perishable foods, especially needed by agencies that are unable to safely handle fresh produce, and by churches in rural areas without sufficient community resources. Second Helpings has purchased non-perishable foods with grants and donations, and communities holding food drives.  

Although the South Carolina Lowcountry is entering the sixth month of the pandemic, the situation remains challenging. “Every day, we encounter a new obstacle,” said Lili Coleman, Second Helpings’ executive director.  “Agencies are still closing and opening due to COVID-19 outbreaks. They may not have volunteers to receive food on a given day. We have to operate with great flexibility during this time.”

“We are continuously assessing the needs of our community,” said Peg Marty, vice-president of Second Helpings’ board of directors. “We are asking our donors, volunteers, and the public to continue their generous support as we work to meet the needs across our neighborhoods.”

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