Activists bring fresh food to Sing Sing inmates following care package ban
In response to a ban on care packages in state prisons, activists are working to get fresh food to inmates at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining.
Volunteers from community groups like the Sing Sing Family Collective have been getting fresh produce to the facility on Saturdays and Sundays since mid-July.
Formerly incarcareted individuals believe this is an important step for prisoner rights.
Market organizer Doug Mathews just got out of jail. He’s made it his personal mission to help people on the inside.
“For years, I went without fresh fruits and vegetables. A salad became the most amazing thing. That's one of the first things I had when I got out,” he said.
The care package ban, which goes into effect on Monday, has been controversial. A Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokesperson said the ban was created due to corrections officers consistently finding drugs and weapons in care packages.
They said this would occur twice a day during an eight-month period last year.
Doug Matthews, who just served an eight-year sentence, believes this leaves people in jail with few wholesome food options.
"Prepackaged foods. It's going to be unhealthy. It's going to be full of chemicals,” he described.
He is pleased that activists are trying to help.
"Somebody's reaching out and helping us. It's one of those times when we actually feel like somebody cares,” said Mathews.
Activists have said that beginning Monday, their only option for getting food so someone incarcerated is going to be through a vendor, which is both expensive and time consuming.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the collective can do so on GoFundMe.
Any who would like to make a donation to the collective can do so on GoFundMe.