The little food pantry that could: going from feeding a few families to 950 people


When Dr Nanette Pierson moved to Hilton Head in 2009, she noticed hungry children at an apartment complex. Why are people lining up to eat in such a prosperous place?

It’s a Tuesday morning in late April. I drive under a green canopy of live oaks on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Hilton Head is the picture of prosperity, awash in artificial green golf courses, pollen and Disney resorts – but I’m searching for a food pantry.

A small private plane flies overhead. More than 70% of Hilton Head’s current homeowners live in gated communities, which are often named after cotton plantations that enslaved thousands of people. Early developer Charles Fraser built the island’s iconic red-and-white striped lighthouse; the structure hosts weddings and overlooks not just the harbor, but the final hole of a golf course.

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