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The mission of Benevolence Farm is to provide an opportunity for women leaving prison to live and work on a farm where they grow food, nourish self, and foster community.
We will provide a 6- to 24-month holistic, transitional living program based on a working farm for up to 12 women leaving North Carolina prisons. Residents will be partially self-supporting through growing their own food, their labor contribution to the farm, and the sale of harvests through local farmers markets, a Community Supported Agriculture program, and sales to restaurants and institutions. We will provide a portion of our harvest to low-income communities through partnerships with food banks and churches.
The need for Benevolence Farm exists because approximately 3,000 women are released from NC prisons each year. Benevolence Farm will offer safe, stable housing, employment that is meaningful and fulfilling, opportunities to grow skills - life and career, for up to two years. Because residents will be contributing to the operations of the farm, essentially paying part of their own expenses through their labor - they secure their involvement with the program and have the time and space, figuratively and literally, to make real, lasting changes.
Benevolence Farm draws upon a number of best practices with the results being good for women participants and their families, the greater community, the communities to which the women return, the farmland, the economy, and the earth.
Programming will include: entrepreneurship and small business skills; career building; financial health; family reunification; agriculture, horticulture and permaculture; food preparation and presentation; value-added production; nutrition; addiction recovery support; diverse food traditions; and community building.
Benevolence Farm's vision is to create a more equitable, just, and nurturing world for women and communities they transform. We are creating the program itself to be partially self-supporting through the production and sale of sustainably grown produce and products, thereby ensuring that the program continues to serve as many women as possible. Benevolence Farm is unique in combining a sustainable environment with a holistic social service mission thereby creating a mutually beneficial relationship enabling the healing of people with and through the healing of the earth.
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