Prison labor helps till fields for Idaho foodbank

On a recent afternoon, clouds high in a hot sky, meadowlark surveying the prison grounds from a telephone wire perch, a small group of inmates raked stones and scraped bunches of whitetop from the dirt.

In about two weeks this same dirt will be a planted field - beans, carrots, corn and red potatoes. It's part of a new project to put Idaho Department of Correction inmates to work growing produce for the Idaho Foodbank.

The project, which is beginning this year on six acres, has room to grow to 60 acres if it's successful. It makes use of land that's been fallow since the mid-1990s, when a private company paid to grow alfalfa there.

"They should have started this a long time ago," said James Robinson, leaning on a rake. Dressed in a prison-issue orange vest, Robinson is part of the inmate crew that starts work on the site each morning at about 6:30 a.m.

Read the complete story at idahostatesman.coM