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Prisoners pack potatoes to feed hungry Vermonters

Salvation Farms’ Potato Project at Windsor facility

Salvation Farms’ founding Director, Theresa Snow, holds the first bag of inmate packed potatoes – a significant milestone for her organization.

Salvation Farms’ founding Director, Theresa Snow, holds the first bag of inmate packed potatoes – a significant milestone for her organization.

— A few days before Thanksgiving, several volunteers gathered to celebrate the launch of Salvation Farms’ Potato Project at the Windsor Correctional Facility.

The food project is the culmination of months of work, with many partners pitching in—from Tuberville securing Chappelle’s Vermont Potatoes to Black River Produce.

For days, the work crew at the Windsor facility had been cleaning, sorting, and packing the potatoes into consumer-sized bags for easy distribution to Vermonters who need a little help over the holiday season. The inmate work crew prepared over 6 tons, more than 40,000 servings, of potatoes last week, and more are expected to come through the facility before the end of the year.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito said, “This is a big win for the Department in that we can give back to the community. We are leading the way.”

Theresa Snow, executive director of Salvation Farms and leader of the project, thanked all of the partners including the New England Grassroots Environment Fund.

“This is tremendous, and I want this to happen for the state of Vermont. We waste a lot of farm-raised food in Vermont, and then we spend a lot of money to bring food in from away to feed folks who need it,” she said.

The Potato Project is an example of how Salvation Farms is working to build resilience in Vermont’s local food system through better management of agricultural surplus.

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