Minister Hopes to Give More Fresh Produce to Food Pantries

ROSS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Reverend Jim Capasso has more than 15,000 square feet of garden space in the backyard of his home near Brodheadsville.

Everything grown at Vista Chapel Gardens is donated to food pantries.

"We had been donating to PVEN for a number of years now but it has taken off, it's left the ground and people are donating from all over so now we are trying to get to other pantries so these poor people can have some fresh food," said Reverend Jim Capasso, Vista Chapel Gardens.

PVEN is one of the food pantries in the Poconos.

Reverend Jim grows everything from peppers and zucchini to tomatoes and eggplant in his garden.

"In the morning we are out there at 6 o'clock, we harvest it each week and then we go bring it right to the food pantries," said Rev. Capasso.

Reverend Jim says one place that really helps him grow a lot of vegetables is Gould's Produce. The owners give him plants left over from the spring gardening season.

Newswatch 16 stopped by the farm stand near Brodheadsville.

The owners were not in, but an employee says they enjoy helping Reverend Jim grow his garden.

He's thankful for them too.

"They have been helping us with donations and food and stuff for a couple of years now and it's like thousands of pounds of food has been donated, plus plants that we can make more thousands of pounds of food for them, so we really, really appreciate them," said Rev. Capasso.

Reverend Jim says he plans to continue to donate produce to local food pantries in Monroe County, but hopes to expand his operation to pantries out of the area, too.