MOUNT OLIVE -- "If you are ever in Mount Olive, check out the pickles," TV personality Mike Rowe said as he stood in the middle of North Center Street.

Rowe spoke to a crowd of curious onlookers who had gathered, and waited, to catch a glimpse of the popular TV show host as he was filming a segment for his new web-based program, "Returning the Favor."

Rowe said he did not get any pickles, but he did get a North Carolina Pickle Festival T-shirt.

He and his crew were in town for the reveal of work on a grassy area at the Make a Difference Food Pantry.

A crowd of Mount Olive, Goldsboro and county officials and local residents braved a bone-chilling wind to be part of the surprise.

The area was built under wraps over the past several days, and Mackenzie Hinson, the 14-year-old behind the food pantry, had been told work was being done on a sewer issue.

A production crew member told the crowd that the premise of the show is going around interviewing organizations that do "really great things in their community."

"At the end of the show, we surprise our honorees with a present," she said. "Essentially this is our present, it is like an outdoor kitchen -- sort of a space for people to come. They can put food out there."

She told those present they were part of the surprise since they are part of the community.

"This is a show about community and how a community comes together and rallies behind its own," she said. "And since you guys have been huge supporters of Mackenzie and (her mother) Paige, we really wanted to invite you here so that you could show your support and she could feel the love you have."

When Mackenzie and her mother arrived, a large dark tarp had been placed in front of the area.

"I see people moving around back there," Mackenzie said.

Rowe hugged Mackenzie and her mother and asked for the cover to be dropped as the crowd clapped and shouted.

Mackenzie was bouncing up and down as Rowe led her to the area.

Production crew members told the media photos were not allowed and that nothing could be published until after the show airs.

However, photos were posted to social media while the crew was still shooting footage of food being distributed from the pantry.

After the reveal, Rowe talked with those at the event and posed for photos.

During a shot, he turned to look for Mackenzie.

"I can't keep up with her, and I don't think anybody else can," he said to the camera.

"Hey, Mike Rowe," a passing motorist shouted from the other side of Center Street.

After finishing the shot, Rowe left.

Mackenzie was 10 when she founded the pantry in 2015 with the help of her parents.

She served food to 8,000 people in Wayne, Johnston and Sampson counties during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

"I think it means a lot that a show like this would come to our area, to Mount Olive, to Goldsboro," said Ashlin Glatthar, director of Travel & Tourism for Goldsboro & Wayne County.

"It shines a light on us in a way -- we already know that we are great -- but they are going to highlight another unique way that we are a great place to live, a great place to visit.

"It doesn't hurt that a celebrity is coming into town. It also draws some attraction. So when a show likes this airs, 'Returning the Favor,' it is a very positive-based show. It means good things for our area. It means we have good people here doing good things and it is worth talking about and worth it for them to come and see it for theirselves."

The visit is significant and means a lot to the community, not just for what Mackenzie and her mother do, Glatthar said.

It also means a lot that other people are taking notice of it and coming to the community to talk about it, she said.

Glatthar said she had been aware of the food pantry, but Tuesday was her first visit to it.

"I think until you see it for yourself it really doesn't resonate until you are here on the ground," she said. "I was just saying how I need to come and volunteer because you can just feel the impact. You can feel how much good this does for the community, and I want to be a part of that."