PCF donates more than 15,000 lbs. of produce to area organizations

Thursday, October 24, 2013

PUTNAMVILLE -- Many economically challenged residents in Putnam and surrounding counties will be eating healthier thanks to more than 15,000 pounds of produce donated by the Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF).

Under the direction of horticulture instructor Brenda Gullett, 20 Putnamville offenders spent the spring planting, and at summer's end harvested thousands of pounds of ripened vegetables and pumpkin.

The total amount of produce involved was listed at 15,807 pounds.

Tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, cucumbers and eggplant were pulled from the vine, boxed and loaded onto trucks bound for the Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry and the Cunot Community and Senior Citizen Center.

"A donation of this size and quality is very important to us," Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry Director Judy Miller said. "One of our goals was to increase the amount of available fresh produce because of the health benefits, and this donation has made it possible."

October also marks the facility's annual pumpkin donation to local elementary school students.

Gullett joined PCF Assistant Superintendent Mike Rains, Maj. Harley Crabb, Lt. Gary Goss, Sgt. Richard Kris and Officer Paula Burns in transporting more than 800 pumpkins to Cloverdale, South Central, Eastside and Forest Park elementary schools.

The facility expanded this year's pumpkin recipient base to include individuals at Putnam County Comprehensive Services, an organization that assists persons with disabilities.

Gullett estimated that an additional 200-300 pounds of produce likely will be collected when the winter vegetables are ripe in November.

When advised of the totals, PCF Superintendent Stanley Knight expressed his surprise and gratitude to prison staff for their efforts.

"This is the largest yield that the garden has ever produced, surpassing my expectations," Knight noted. "I am very proud of what has been accomplished, and knowing that we are helping a lot of folks eat who might otherwise have to do without."

The facility's horticulture program is contracted through Oakland City University.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: