Prisoner’s pumpkins prove popular

Prisoner’s pumpkins prove popular

Department of Justice Prison Industries Assistant Director Carlo Bontempo hands over the pumpkins to Foodbank collection team Geoff and Richard.

One thousand kilograms of pumpkins grown at the Karnet Prison Farm have been donated to Foodbank WA to help feed Western Australian families in need.

Department of Justice Primary Production Coordinator, Kevin Binning, said the Department was pleased to be able to help families who are experiencing hard times, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility commitment.

“Prisoners at Karnet recently completed the 2021 pumpkin harvest, most of which is consumed within the WA prison system,” he said.

“The donated pumpkins were the smallest of the crop, in the two-to-three-kilogram range, making them less suitable for processing at the Casuarina Prison vegetable preparation facility, but an ideal family size.

“These Samson variety pumpkins are small but still very good quality.

“Pumpkins are very versatile in the kitchen, so we hope they bring a lot of culinary joy to the families who receive them.”

The pumpkins have been distributed to Foodbank WA’s state branches and the Centre for Hunger Relief at Perth Airport where they will be offered to people struggling to put food on the table.

Foodbank WA provides food and groceries to more than 400 registered charities that provide emergency food assistance to people in need.

“The Department is thrilled to be in a position to help such a worthy cause,” Mr Binning said.

Karnet’s pumpkin crop is one of many primary products that WA’s prison farms contribute to self-sustainability for Corrective Services facilities and savings for taxpayers.

For prisoners at Karnet, there’s a strong focus on rehabilitation and release preparation.

By working on the farm, prisoners are provided with opportunities to develop work and life skills through a range of vocational and skills training.