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More than vegetables

By Staff | Oct 8, 2014

The St. Marys Correctional Center in Pleasants County is one of eight correctional facilities in West Virginia that has grown produce for their own consumption and donation through the Harvest Now program.

No doubt many, if not most, of us have seen the gardens at the St. Marys Correctional Center as we drive south from Tyler County on state Route 2.

Their gardens seem to grow in size, not just stature, every year. We have admired the work, thinking how wonderful it is to give the inmates something productive to do that contributes to their wellbeing in the prison.

But when we received the press release on page 4A of our print edition about how the West Virginia Division of Correction’s Harvest Now donation program, a sustainable fresh produce effort, for donating more than 46,000 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks and charitable organizations across West Virginia, our satisfaction in the program only grew. Inmates throughout West Virginia are not only growing healthy vegetables for their consumption, but to share through food banks to those in need.

We just think that is wonderful on so many levels. Perhaps it is a “pie in the sky” hope, but we will hold out that a sense of community service, such as that done by the inmates in the gardens, could help to lead a person to a more productive life once they leave the confines of the prison.

There is just something about giving back that makes a person feel invested in a community. It fosters a sense of caring for their fellow man. And if you care about society, we hope you’ll be less likely to commit another offense against it.