Beach (Food) Rescue

In maintaining this site, I occasionally hear about some clever food recovery schemes. Recently, Bill Spier wrote in and told me about his A Second Helping operation that collects unused groceries from beach rentals.

What a perfect idea! When you’ve rented a vacation condo and bought a week’s worth of groceries, there’s inevitably some excess food. I know this option would have come in handy during my family’s last vacation.

Every summer Saturday–rental changeover day–Spier sets up shop in a church parking lot to accept donations. Contributions are usually 15 to 20 pounds and include hot dogs, eggs, cereal, fruit and canned goods. Spier told me (by email) that he once received a whole smoked turkey from a traveler and more than 100 pounds of canned goods from a local who was moving. Some area residents have heard about A Second Helping or noticed Spier’s white “Food Drop” sign.  

Spier keeps perishables safe in a large cooler inside his truck. He drops the donated food at an area church less than an hour after he stops collecting at noon. 

What began at Holden Beach, N.C., in July 2005 now has three drop-off spots at beaches near the South Carolina border. Spier modeled his effort after a similar one in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., named after the Wright brothers. Hopefully, this food recovery niche will also take flight.

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  1. adena
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Jon- Great post! Last year, after attending a fantastic wedding in Cape Cod, we called the local homeless shelter and were able to drop off all of our extra food from the week before leaving town. It would be great if rental companies could provide this information to tenants upon check-in. We plan on adding this task to the list of beach clean-up activities going forward.

  2. Jonathan
    Posted May 3, 2007 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Hey Adena,
    Glad to hear you were able to donate your unused food and that you’ll try to do the same in the future. Also, you raise a sound point–you don’t need a non-profit to find a homeless shelter that could use your edibles.

    It would be ideal if rental companies spread the word about donation options. I know Bill Spier has convinced local rental agencies to do just that. Good on ya for finding it on your own.

  3. Linda Williams
    Posted May 9, 2007 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Jon, Every year we throw away food when we leave the beach. It HURTS! I was brought up by the generation that lived thru the Great Depression and wasting food was considered a sin. I was so pleased that Adena (at great inconvenience) took all the food to the homeless shelter last summer. Hopefully, we will find a place this year.

  4. Jonathan
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I do, too! And I’ll be happy to take on the responsibility/inconvenience in place of Adena. Here’s to happy vacations and not wasting food!

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] I recently wrote about A Second Helping, an operation that takes food donations from those departing vacation rentals on the N.C. Coast. Well, I just heard from John Hodges, who started 2nd Loaf, the food recovery operation that begat A Second Helping. [...]

  2. By Nancy O Dell on November 28, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Nancy O Dell…

    Thanks for the nice read, keep up the interesting posts…..

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