A Missouri prison program has donated a record 163 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables to food pantries, shelters, churches, nursing homes and schools this year.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri prison program has donated a record 163 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables to food pantries, shelters, churches, nursing homes and schools this year.

The Columbia Daily Tribune (http://bit.ly/18LXnXM ) reports that the Missouri Department of Corrections announced the yearly distribution total Friday. The donation from the Restorative Justice Garden program shattered last year's 117-ton record.

The Northeast Missouri Correctional Center in Bowling Green was the department's top producer this year with more than 62,000 pounds of produce donated. The Boonville Correctional Center donated the second-largest amount of produce with more than 49,100 pounds.

Department officials said the program operates without the assistance of tax dollars. All of the seeds and plants for the gardens are donated to the institutions. In return, all the produce grown is donated.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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