To address food insecurities and provide fruits and vegetables to local food pantries, OSF Healthcare started community gardens in Ottawa, Streator, and Mendota. This year the gardens produces about 2,500 pounds of food. OSF Streator produced 713 pounds, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Ottawa harvested 640 pounds. But St. Paul’s Hospital in Mendota harvest 1,175 pounds, which is the most the garden has produced after being started four years ago. Every year volunteers and employees plant, water, weed, and harvest the food. In the past they’ve planted produce like watermelons, squash, onions, and tomatoes. The produce will be donated to local food pantries and might be offered at OSF cafeterias to be used as a healthy eating and wellness initiative.