Tourists aid in local beach communities fight against hunger


OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Four years ago, two Ocean Isle Beach couples started a project to feed their community by allowing tourists to simply pay their visit forward. Rebecca Powell, Jimmy Powell, Teresa Gibson and Neil Garratt continue that organization, Second Helping OIB, today.

Powell says the task is simple. She says, as tourists are leaving the island, Second Helping OIB collects all the unused, perishable and non-perishable items.

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Each Saturday starting Memorial Day until Labor Day, the organization collects items at 3 locations across the town.

“Holden Beach had been doing it and there was a man from Charlotte who has started it about 15/16 years ago as a one man show,” Powell said. “They did an exposĂ© on him and I’m like well we can do this here. So ,Teresa and I called him up and  met with him in Shallotte. He told us how he did it and then we started it.”

Powell says last summer the group was able to donate 20,000 lbs of food to the Brunswick Family Assistance, which was enough food to be able to feed the county and not tap into the reserve.

If you’re in the community and would like to donate, you can find volunteers near the Museum of Coastal Carolina, near the roundabout neighboring the Ocean Isle Beach Pier or on East 1 Street just down the road from the pier near the Beach Life shop.