Jails produce released to senior citizens – The Landmark

Posted: August 19, 2020 at 1:56 am


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HOLDEN The best crop ever, Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis said last week as he delivered produce from the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction.

The farming project started 10 years ago is benefiting not only inmates, but also residents throughout Worcester County.

On Wednesday, the bed of a pickup was filled with crates featuring various produce headed to senior centers.

They really look forward to it, Holden Senior Center Director Louise Charbonneau said of the seniors as she examined the array of produce her crew would be delivering to town seniors.

Its a good assortment of what we grow, Evangelidis said. You name, were growing it.

Shaun Mullaney, an officer at the jail, said about 5,000 pounds of food have been given out so far this season, with about 500 pounds of produce harvested daily by the half dozen inmates who work the fields with jail staff.

Evangelidis said the crew makes regular deliveries. Last week, he stopped at the Holden Senior Center on his route, like an old-time milk man, dropping off milk crates filled with fresh, organic produce.

The 15-acre organic farm at the jail supplies the jails kitchens, and during harvest season, 500 to 900 pounds are donated each day to local senior centers, food pantries and Meals on Wheels programs.

I love being able to get out into the community, Evangelidis said as he greeted senior center staff in Holden.

His goal is a positive message. To let people know were out there. We will get through this.

The produce will move from the senior centers, such as Holden and Rutland, to residents.

Evangelidis lamented the fact the sheriffs popular senior picnic would not be held this year, but added, Well see you next year.

And Evangelidis gave a little extra plug for the quality of the crops, which include bell peppers, cabbage, celery, corn, green beans, zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes and a special bonus in the fall, a crop of pumpkins that is distributed.

Its organic. Organic is like medicine, Evangelidis said.

The produce from the jail is not the only donation that was making its way out to Holden seniors.

Charbonneau said the community garden had also made food donations.

And The Queens Cups had added a little donation to the jail that the sheriff dropped off in a paper bag pastries from the bakery to add a little extra to the delivery.

Baskets will be put together to be distributed to seniors in town, Charbonneau said.

And she added that the baskets make it pleasing to the eye and the tastebuds.

For people who may not be getting out as much as ideal to get quality food, Its a great opportunity to get organic, fresh, home-grown produce, she said.

The crew from the center delivers appropriately sized baskets to individuals, giving them a heads-up call and then ensuring they pick it up, giving staff a chance to interact from a distance and seeing that the produce grown largely through the labors of inmates has a positive impact on the community.

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Jails produce released to senior citizens - The Landmark

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August 19th, 2020 at 1:56 am

Posted in Organic Food