The Yankee Xpress – October 6th, 2023
Charlton, MA – While New England has experienced record periods of rainfall this year, the staff and inmate work crew at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction have managed to maintain adequate growing conditions for the Department’s Organic Farm program. The inmates who are eligible to opt into the farm program, pick and wash the produce daily before it is distributed throughout Worcester County.
This year, over 60 food pantries and non-profit organizations across Worcester County have benefitted from the Worcester County Sherriff’s Organic Farm. Nearly 500 pounds of fresh organic vegetables and fruits are harvested every day on the grounds of the proudly displayed farm in West Boylston.
From squash to corn and cantaloupe to eggplant, the 15-acre farm grows a wide variety of healthy produce that is provided to those in need or used for meals in the correctional facility.
Recently, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach team visited the Charlton Senior Center and delivered over 100 pounds of fresh organic produce. These fruits and vegetables were used in meal programs and distributed to those whom the organization serves.
Since taking office in 2011, Sheriff Lew Evangelidis has remained committed to developing the organic farm and serving the communities he represents. The Worcester County Jail and House of Correction boasts the largest organic farm on a correctional facility in Massachusetts.
“The Sheriff’s Office’s Orcganic Farm is a tremendously positive program,” commented Sheriff Evangelidis. “The farm allows our department to give back to the communities that we work to keep safe. It also teaches select incarcerated individuals a structured lifestyle, the importance of constructive community involvement, and the dignity that comes along with a steady job or purpose.”
The department will continue its 2023 distributions as long as the growing season will allow.