Volunteers Donate Produce To Local Pantry - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Volunteers Donate Produce To Local Pantry

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By: Claire Powell

Volunteers from St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church garden, even in the heat, so people in need can have fresh produce on their tables. 

The group starts their garden in May and pick every Sunday night. Every ounce of the produce that comes from the garden goes directly to the Des Moines Area Religious Council's food pantry.

"Last year we had two and a half tons that we donated, and that included squashes, zucchinis, tomatoes, green beans," said Jan Hoeman, manager of the garden.

The list of food keeps growing and so does the list of volunteers. 

"We have lots of people from our parish come and help, so it's not just one person, or a small group, it's lots of high school and junior high kids that come and families," said Hoeman.

The volunteers, no matter what age, feel what it is like to help someone in need. 

"I like to do this to help others, I think there are a lot of people out there who can't do this, who are old and need food. There's nothing like fresh produce on the family table and so that's why we do this," said Bud Glas, a volunteer. 

"It's just awesome because so many people are hungry, and it's awesome we can go and grow it from the land and its not processed. It's all fresh and going to be good for them, and people can help, and not a lot of people have the resources that some people have," said a group of Dowling Catholic high school sophomores. 

"I'm giving a small amount of time and effort for someone else to be able to eat healthy, this is all really healthy food," said Hoeman.

Since the summer wasn't as hot as last year, the group thinks they'll be able to donate more than three tons of produce.

"That's a lot of zucchini, that's a lot of butternut squash, a lot of tomatoes, you know, that's a lot of food," said Hoeman.

The group will garden until the first frost hits, making sure they've picked all they can for the people who need it most. 


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