After a second straight summer of growing fresh vegetables for the hungry, Viatorians recorded their final tally — and the numbers look tomatoes

Fr. Dan Hall, CSV, who coordinates the community’s garden, said his volunteers harvested more than 1,800 pounds of fresh produce this summer, or more than 700 pounds than last year, for families that visit the local food pantry.

“The people at the (Wheeling Township) food pantry were very appreciative of our giving,” Fr. Hall said, “which is great.”

Early harvests yielded radishes, lettuce, beets, peppers, zuchinni, squash and eggplant, while the late summer led to hundreds of pounds of tomatoes. Viatorian Associate Joan Sweeney also increased the number of hand-cut flowers she donated as bouquets, bringing more than 160 to pantry families.

Besides Fr. Hall, Volunteer gardeners included Viatorian associates and staff members who embraced the chance to respond to hunger in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs. garden veggies

Working to end poverty, especially as it affects children, is one of the main social justice issues adopted by the Viatorian Provincial Council.

“Last summer we got off to a late start and this summer we had cool weather at the beginning,” Fr. Hall added, “so there is no telling what next summer will bring.”