WV inmates to launch food bank farming program - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WV inmates to launch food bank farming program

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -

Inmates at West Virginia's minimum- and medium-security prisons soon will sow seeds and tend plants as part of an initiative to grow produce for the state's largest food bank.

Commissioner Jim Rubenstein said planting will begin soon for the "Harvest Now" initiative.

The Division of Corrections will work with Mountaineer Food Bank in Gassaway, which serves 48 of West Virginia's 55 counties. It distributes to local pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth programs, day care centers, senior programs and schools.

"Harvest Now" began four years ago in Connecticut, where 33,000 pounds of food was donated last year. More than two-thirds came from Cybulski State Prison in Enfield. Its 22,000 pounds fed 5,500 people.

Founder Brooks Sumberg says Harvest Now provides a sense of purpose and lets inmates give back to communities.

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