Fresh produce sold at USDB Sales Store

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Zoe Salaiz, lead sales representative at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Sales Store, points out some of the produce available, including new potatoes and squash, July 9 at the store. The produce is grown in the Vocational Agriculture Program at the Joint Regional Correctional Facility. Any produce not sold each week is donated to the Leavenworth Mission Food Pantry. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer


Thanks to the partnership between the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Sales Store and the Joint Regional Correctional Facility’s Vocational Agriculture Program, fresh produce is on sale at the USDB Sales Store every Wednesday and Thursday.


Potatoes, squash, zucchini, garlic and herbs are just some of the items shoppers can get for under $5, and all proceeds go back to the JRCF Vocational Agriculture Program, which began in 2016 with JRCF inmates taking part in the work detail of growing the fruits and vegetables.

John Wahlmeier, business manager for the Joint Regional Correctional Facility’s Vocational Agriculture Program, rubs the skin off of a purple new potato to show how the flesh of the potato is also purple while explaining what produce, herb and plant varieties are available for sale July 9 at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Sales Store. Fresh produce is offered for sale at the store Wednesdays and Thursdays. Any produce not sold each week is donated to the Leavenworth Mission Food Pantry. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


“It doesn’t cost a lot to get seeds, (but growing produce) takes knowledge and time,” said John Wahlmeier, business manager for the JRCF Vocational Agriculture Program. “If (the inmates) can get the knowledge before they get out, then most of them are there and ready.”


The USDB Sales Store has been receiving produce since late summer of 2019.
During the COVID-19 pandemic while the sales store was closed, the produce was donated to the Leavenworth Mission Food Pantry, 1140 Spruce St., Leavenworth.


“We’re all about the vocational training programs, so we want to be able to make money for that program so that it benefits the inmates to become efficient at their vocational training that they’re doing,” said Sandra Settles, USDB Sales Store supervisor. “Also, I love that it’s organic produce that we’re able to provide to everyone.”

Produce, ranging from new potatoes to squash to tomatoes (later this summer) and more, as well as herbs and bedding plants grown in the Joint Regional Correctional Facility’s JRCF Vocational Agriculture Program are available for sale at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Sales Store. Any produce not sold each week is donated to the Leavenworth Mission Food Pantry. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp


For more information about the agricultural program, visit https://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/news/top-news-stories/2019/09/05/jrcf%e2%80%88vocational-program-producing-food/.


For updates on what produce is available each week, visit the USDB Sales Store Facebook page. As summer progresses, Wahlmeier said the program will bring in more produce including tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers as well as fresh honey and plants.


All produce not sold by Thursday afternoon is donated to the Leavenworth Mission Food Pantry.

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