By Corridor News: A Second Chance Leads To A First Harvest
The Management & Training Corporation (MTC) at Kyle Correctional Center (KCC) believes that everyone should have a second chance at being a productive member of society.
During their final six months at KCC, offenders learn how to give instead of a take, which can be vital to their overall happiness and success.
Each year, KCC comes up with a new way to positively impact their facility through MTC’s Impact Innovation Program. Warden Deanna Branham and Principal Robert Deckard recently proposed a community garden.
It will allow offenders to learn transferable skills while cultivating produce and donating it to Hays County Food Bank.
The new garden also helps reduce waste from meal times, since leftover foods can be used for compost. The garden broke ground on February 3rd of this year.
Kyle Rotary Club helped with start-up by providing many of the seeds. The KCC set a lofty goal of donating 10,000 pounds of produce by December 30th.
Principal Deckard says, “whether we meet our goal is pretty academic at this point. The men are already seeing the parallel between working to improve the land and working to improve themselves.”
Scott Denney is one offender who is completing his community service by caring for the new community garden. He was working on becoming a Horticulture Technician before his life went in a different direction.
He has enjoyed being able to take on a guiding role in the garden. When asked about his experience, he says he likes getting “back to nature and harvesting a productive resource to feed others.”
The KCC’s first harvest was donated in April, and since then, they have donated 661 pounds of produce.
Hays County Food Bank and its clients are looking forward to all of the onions, potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, watermelon, cucumber, and pole beans that are to come! Partnerships like these help ensure that low income Hays County residents have access to the nutritious, whole foods necessary for a well-balanced diet.