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RE: Prison farms for Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Prison farms for Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens
  • From: "Honigman, Adam" Adam.Honigman@Bowne.com
  • Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 10:48:59 -0400

Title: RE: [cg] Prison farms for Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens
The cookbooks all sold out (they were $5.00) along with the honey from our hive, and a goodly number of t-shirts ( both in regular t- and in black sleeveless) emblazoned with our logo - "Gardener from Hell's Kitchen". 
 
However, the best garden t-shirt I've seen is the commemorative Seattle P-Patch t-shirt, which quite frankly puts ours to shame.
 
FYI - we don't do mail order. Mainly we sell this stuff to give folks in the neighborhood a way of supporting the garden that doesn't entail writing a check ( though thankfully, some folks do - we're organized as a 501(c) (3).
 
Adam Honigman
-----Original Message-----
From: Gwenne Hayes-Stewart [mailto:Gwenne.Hayes-Stewart@mobot.org]
Sent: Monday, October 21, 2002 10:32 AM
To: 'Adam36055@aol.com'; community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: RE: [cg] Prison farms for Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens

Adam, So how much is the cookbook? Gwenne

-----Original Message-----
From: Adam36055@aol.com [mailto:Adam36055@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 19, 2002 9:36 AM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] Prison farms for Food Pantries & Soup Kitchens


As an old restaurant union member and shop steward (Hotel Restaurant
Employees and Bartender's International Union NY Locals 1, 69, 6 and finally
100) I oppose any kind of scab or unfree labor.  Trying to clothe myself and
my family in non-sweatshop goods (bless the Union Label when we find it!) is
horribly time consuming and expensive. And I support small farmers through
our local greenmarket. A grower of perennials from a greenmarket a block away
from my apartment has been the source of many plants in the Clinton Community
Garden. His business and family are very important to our neighborhood.  He
has the same migrant workers every year because they believe in health
coverage for their workers - it's the only time that some of these guys can
get their teeth fixed.

Bottom line: Prison labor should be used on farms ( and I would underline
that I'd want this to be a voluntary program) to produce food for our food
pantries and neighborhood soup kitchens.  Could free men and citizens produce
that food? Of course, but our food distribution system has become so
corporatized, agribusiness so divorced from the real needs of our society
that many in this country  suffer chronic hunger  amidst seas of plenty. 

Can community gardens help? Sure and many make outstanding contributions to
our neighborhood's food security by enabling low income families to raise
food for their families, share the excess with seniors,  neighbors,  or grow
a row of vegetables for a local program.

Hunger in America is a national disgrace.  Our well developed gleaning and
surplus redistribution programs can only do so much. There's even a program
in Arkansas where sports hunters donate game to local food pantries. Those
who choose to open their eyes can see the hungry - unfortunately most don't
and the media doesn't choose to enlighten it's viewers.

Bottom line:  Prison farms or industries should not be used to undermine
anyones livelihood.  I only advocate prison labor to raise food for Food
Security - food pantries and soup kitchens.  Community gardens need to do
more in the fight against hunger in this country, in both education and
production, but community gardens can't do it alone unless there's a
community garden on every block.

That said, I'm off to sell t-shirts, baseball hats, our cook book and honey
from our 2002 harvest at the Clinton Community garden ( got a loud voice and
no shame - a throwback to pushcart days.) Tomorrow I'll be stirring soup at
my synagogues soup kitchen ( my Sunday of the month.)

Thinking about harvests and hunger in America,

Adam Honigman
Volunteer, Clinton Community Garden





To use a goverment program to undermine citizen's jobs

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