EDMONTON -- A first time gardener has turned a bumper crop into a windfall for local charities.

Back in April, Dave Benjestorf started planting potatoes, lots of potatoes.

He ended harvesting nearly 100,000 pounds worth, all of it going to Edmontonians in need.

In the last week 17,000 pounds were distributed to local charities.

“It's just been a lightning rod at a time when everybody, there's so much negativity around everybody, this is an opportunity for all of us to sort of pull together and focus on something positive in our lives,” he said Saturday.

Plans are already underway to expand the project in the coming years.