Nationwide deal with Wilmington indoor farm that hires former inmates | The Newest from WDEL Information

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Second Chances Farm on Bowers Street in Wilmington received a visit on Monday, September 14, 2020 from two high ranking members of President Trump’s Cabinet.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson visited the vertical, hydroponic farm operation which is located in an Opportunity Zone.

The farm hires formerly incarcerated people and worker Gabrielle Newton talked about how important that opportunity is to her.

“I’m going to interview after interview, and it’s going well, very well, and then my paperwork comes up, and my number, and then the gun charge, and then it’s like ‘oh, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,'” said Newton.

“Our mission is to keep our communities safe and to prevent crime,” said Barr. “We have learned that there is more to this than simply policing against crime, and catching those involved, and incarcerating them.”

Second Chances has flourished despite the coronavirus pandemic which shut down the restaurants they were serving. Farm founder Ajit Mathew George said they pivoted to a home delivery model.

“We lost 100 percent of the orders; meanwhile, we are harvesting a perishable product, so the choice is to go out of business or to find an alternative way.”

Second Chances grows leafy green vegetables and herbs and is expanding into growing pharmaceutical-grade hemp.

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