The National Association County of Agricultural Agents were in Fort Wayne for their annual conference and were offered a tour of Chain O' Lakes Correctional Facility. While at COL they were served fresh veggies along with homemade salsa made from the produce grown at the facility garden. Since 2010 COL has partnered with Purdue Extension which teaches a training through the Noble County Mater Gardner’s Association. The classroom training is done in the winter months. The volunteers return during planting session to assist with maintaining and harvesting the produce.
Chain O’ Lakes Correctional Facility has been donating produce to the Central Noble Food Pantry for the past nine years from the facility garden. This year to date, Chain O’ Lakes has delivered 3,577.14 pounds of produce to the Central Noble Food Pantry. Items included kale, Swiss chard, lettuce and kohlrabi along with the standard garden staples like tomato (5 varieties), green beans, zucchini and all types of peppers. This is the first year donations of cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli were made. In past years local groundhogs favored these items and ate them before they could be picked.
The Central Noble Food Pantry was established in 1994 at the suggestion of a Central Noble Student. The first location was at the Noble House with a closet as storage for the products being distributed. The pantry has continued to grow to where they are today.
Pantry President Bonnie Brownell, stated,“Our pantry depends totally on donations. We would not survive without the generosity and caring of our community. The Master Gardeners of Chain O’ Lakes Correctional Center has provided us with much appreciated fresh produce.”
Bonnie Brownell Director of the Noble County Food Pantry thanked Warden Charles Bowen for his continual support of the Master Gardener program that allows her clients to eat fresh vegetables. The pantry also works with clients from the local ARC helping with their work and social skills. She also presented the facility with a certificate of appreciation.
Chain O' Lakes Correctional Facility's Bruce Kennedy addressing National Association County of Agricultural Agents
This year to date, Chain O’ Lakes has delivered 3,577.14 pounds of produce to the Central Noble Food Pantry
Items included kale, Swiss chard, lettuce and kohlrabi along with the standard garden staples like tomato (5 varieties), green beans, zucchini and all types of peppers.