Parish gardens provide fresh produce to pantries during pandemic

For years, some parishes in the archdiocese have maintained gardens whose produce was donated to local food pantries. With the rise in food insecurity during COVID-19 in the spring of 2020 sending more people to food pantries than before, those ministries have taken on a new importance. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Sharon Fredrickson walks with Sue Lindholm as volunteers plant vegetables at the Jubilee Garden for St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lake Zurich on May 30, 2020. Produce grown in the garden is donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and Emmaus House. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
A volunteer puts up fencing for tomato plants in the Jubilee Garden. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Volunteers plant vegetables at the Jubilee Garden for St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lake Zurich on May 30, 2020. They work every Saturday morning except when it rains. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Containers that hold water can be seen to the left as volunteers work in the garden. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
In addition to produce, volunteers plant flowers in the garden. The flowers are used to decorate the church. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Father Ken Fleck, pastor of St. George Parish in Tinley Park, tends to plants on May 1, 2020 that will be planted in the parish’s “Seeds of Faith - Harvest of Hope” gardens. The program invites students and parishioners to grow crops for the local food pantry. Fleck is tending to the students plants since school is closed because of COVID-19. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
A selection of some pepper plants Fleck is tending to that students from the school started before the COVID-19 pandemic closed the school. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
John "Jay" Surufka, a 97-year-old Army veteran who served in World War II, plants cucumbers in one of the gardens at St. George Church in Tinley Park on May 29, 2020. Surufka has been gardening since he was 7 years old and plants a cucumber patch and other vegetables in the parish garden each year. The vegetables are donated to the Tinley Park Food Pantry. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)