Prison veggies help local families

by Mike Isle

Christchurch Women’s Prison horticulture training course is making a difference in the local community by providing vegetables to families.

The prison, near Templeton, is running the course to help inmates learn new skills to enhance their work opportunities on release.

“The vegetable garden is thriving with the attention of the women on the programme; providing the prison with an opportunity to share the produce with others,” Prison residential manager, Richard Shuker, said.

Mr Shuker, said the prison had been supplying around 10 to 20 large vegetable bins at a time to 0800 Hungry.

0800 Hungry is a non-profit Christian ministry that delivers food parcels through more than 150 churches and agencies in Canterbury. The vegetables include: corn, cabbages, pumpkins, silverbeet, courgettes, broccoli and tomatoes.

“Making those vegetables free to families can make a real difference to their meal options and also frees up some money for other family expenses,” said Mr Shuker. This month the prison will also have vegetables available for prisoners’ families to take home as they leave after visits.