© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2022

Christchurch Women's Prison growing fresh veges for families in need

Abbey Wakefield

Prisoners at Christchurch Women's Prison are earning a qualification by growing and donating vegetables to financially struggling families.

Over the past year, the prison has supplied around 20 large vegetable bins to 0800 Hungry, a charity supplying food to families in need.

The prison has a thriving vegetable garden which the prisoners maintain and then donate the produce to 0800 Hungry.

The prisoners are giving back to the community, earning a qualification through a horticulture training course and gaining skills in an industry with plenty of employment opportunities.

Christchurch Women's Prison Residential Manager Richard Shuker said many of the women are mothers.

"They know what it's like to struggle and make ends meet. Fresh vegetables are expensive and can be a luxury for some families."

0800 Hungry's Kerry Bensemann said he is extremely pleased with the quality and the freshness of the produce.

This month the prison has given vegetables to prisoner's families to take home after visits.