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Helping Community Gardens Bloom

Community gardens are growing in popularity because they bring people together, increase access to fresh foods, address hunger, offer learning opportunities, and are good for the environment. That’s why community gardens became the focus of the Wheaton Franciscans’ 2023 Lenten donations.

Our community raised $4,568 to help support three local community garden organizations (see below) and the Feed the Need campaign, with the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation office adding another $2,000 to the proceeds.

DeKalb County Community Gardens works to end hunger in the county by growing thousands of pounds of sustainably grown produce each year for individuals and families in need. Involving over 57 community garden plots, this organization distributes fresh produce to local food pantries, shelters, low-income housing, and community meal sites. 

Roots & Wings in Rockford, IL, grows vegetables using organic and sustainable techniques, all while motivating, educating, and inspiring youth and adults to be leaders and role models. Youth [Young people] are the leaders of Roots & Wings, with older youth teaching younger kids about farming and food. 

Plano Community Garden delivers fresh organic produce to local food pantries and provides hands-on educational opportunities for local schools and organizations. The gardeners reported their harvest results in October 2022 on Facebook: 12,761 lbs. of fresh produce, with the final delivery to the Kendall County Community Food Pantry including beets, Swiss chard, herbs, kale, onions, peppers, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes.

These organizations are a living testament to the Laudato Si’ values of working together to improve lives and share the bounty of Mother Earth.

Covenant Companion Pat Faivre delivers the Wheaton Franciscan donation to members of the DeKalb County Community Gardens.

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