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Food Bank donations help prisoners give back to the community

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Prisoners at Tongariro Rangipo Prison are giving back to the community thanks to the kind donations of local businesses.

Litchfield Poultry Farm, owned and operated by Jim and Maria Peterson, supplied 10 hens for the prison in September last year. Since then, prisoners raising the hens have been able to donate 540 eggs to the Turangi and Mangakino Food Banks who would have otherwise had to purchase them. The unit in which the hens are raised is intending on increasing the number of hens so that they can increase the number of eggs they can contribute. The eggs are gratefully received as a great source of protein for struggling families.

Principal Corrections Officer, Dayle McKibbin, understands the rehabilitative value for prisoners to be able to provide something positive to their community.

"It gives the men a real source of pride to be able to help out in this way and looking after the animals also gives them a great sense a responsibility. Some of them may have never felt this kind of gratification before and it can help to start to give them a new outlook on life. Sometimes being able to help someone else is the best way to make changes in their own lives and break that cycle of offending."

Horticulture Instructor, Peter Nisbet, is excited about the opportunity to teach the prisoners using two large boxes of seed packets donated by Peter Levie from the Turangi Hammer Hardware Store. Not only does germinating the vegetables from seeds provide great practical horticultural lessons, but also the potential for further embedded literacy and numeracy lessons.

"We regularly donate vegetables grown by the men in our gardens to the Food Banks. Not only are the men doing something good for the public, they are also learning a trade which will increase their chances of finding employment when they are released so they can continue to be contributing members of society."

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