OGLESBY — An initiative begun last year by Illinois Valley Community College’s student Ag Club will result in fresh produce going to district food pantries this summer and fall.
The club grew more than a thousand plants this year in the college greenhouse including 800 tomato and 500 cabbage plants, along with bell peppers, squash, pumpkin, watermelon, basil, cilantro, and more.
Following a recent campus sale, remaining plants were donated to the University of Illinois Extension for replanting in community gardens and elsewhere. Specific destinations include the 4-H Latino After-School Club at DePue Elementary School, the Ottawa Community Garden and a Marseilles Elementary School garden.
At harvest, produce will be distributed to district food pantries. The club and IVCC Ag Program coordinator and instructor Willard Mott worked with the Extension’s Meg Overocker, coordinator for the Master Gardeners and Master Naturalist programs, and Paul Marincic, a Master Gardener and Master Naturalist volunteer.