Eastern Shore inmates grow produce for families in need

Eastern Correctional Institution inmates have grown nearly one ton of produce for residents of Somerset County.

Somerset County is one of the poorest counties in the state of Maryland. The county had a poverty rate of 29.6 percent in 2012, officials said.

The produce is grown on three-acres in a the Eastern Correctional Institution’s Green Garden, officials said. After harvesting the produce, it is transferred to the Somerset County Health Department to be distributed.

"We want to change lives," said Gregg Hershberger, Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary. "We help inmates who want to truly change and pay society back to change their lives, and we try to help our prison neighbors and the citizens of Maryland in the process."

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services has numerous programs in place that yield produce for the Maryland Food Bank with the aid of inmates in correctional facilities around the state, officials said.

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