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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