Beaufort Today -

Beaufort County farms partner with Second Helpings

  • Courtesy of Second Helpings Fresh produce is loaded as part of Second Helpings’ healthy food pilot program.
  • Courtesy of Second Helpings Dempsey Farms and Pinckney’s Produce are part of Second Helpings’ healthy food pilot program.

Second Helpings implemented the first phase of its healthy food pilot program by partnering with Dempsey Farms and Pinckney’s Produce in June.

The nonprofit said more than 700 families will receive 20-pound boxes full of fresh produce picked by the farms days before delivery.

“Despite the tremendous amount of food donated by our food donors, made up of local grocery stores and restaurants, there is still a need for more fresh produce,” program chair Margie Tomczak said.

“The Second Helpings board has initiated a healthy food program to purchase fresh produce during the growing season. This produce will be delivered at no cost to the agencies we serve.”

Second Helpings has received hundreds of pounds of fresh produce from Dempsey Farms since last fall in addition to produce from grocery store donations. It has been distributed to more than 60 agencies in Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties.

“This month, both Dave Dempsey of Dempsey Farms and Urbie West of Pinckney Farms personally boxed up over 700 20-pound boxes with produce from their fields,” Tomczak said.

“These boxes will be packed every week for four weeks. The first week, boxes included tomatoes, onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, squash and other produce, and it will change weekly depending on the yield.”

Recipient agencies are encouraged to distribute one box per family.

“Donations and grants make this program possible and this is only the beginning,” said Jan Malinowski, president of Second Helpings and Palmetto State Bank.

“Healthy eating helps a child to learn, a parent can control diseases resulting from eating too much processed food and it leads to a more productive and healthy community. It’s a win-win for everyone. We look forward to growing this program.”

Second Helpings is described as the only local nonprofit that rescues food from area donors and provides it to agencies for free. For more information, call 843 689-3689 or go to