Recently students on gold, blue and green level earned a field trip to Farming 4 Hunger. Farming 4 Hunger is an organization that was formed in 2012 by Bernie Fowler Jr. in Southern Maryland. This is a non-profit organization that has partnered with over 27 local farms, 20+ churches, local business, schools, the Maryland Food Bank, the Department of Corrections and a great network of community volunteers. Not only do they distribute millions of fruits and vegetables to the hungry, he also helps inmates with a second chance of life. While there, they learned how to work as a team and listened to the inmates talk about their life and how much they have learned about their mistakes.

This was an incredible experience for our students. Some of them wrote about their experiences. Please read below:

I learned that you should use teamwork. You shouldn’t be on the streets doing drugs and stealing/robbing from people because you can go to jail. I learned that other people also had terrible childhoods. I learned jail doesn’t seem like a fun place to live. When other people have a terrible childhood they can make it out and become a better person. Instead of doing bad things you can do art, listen to music or make songs.

Hi I am Zachary and this is my story about Farming four Hunger. Farming 4 Hunger is about people who like to help people by growing food for them. What I’ve learned is to respect others by the power of team work. We did team work exercise with my group. The first exercise consisted of passing objects to each other. The second was to pass a river of poison. Both exercises we had to work together to achieve our goals. After the exercises we had a speech about life and the consequences from my actions. I thank them for their help said goodbye and left. All and all I’ve learned that life has hardships but it is important to keep control during that time, but as long as I have friends and family I have nothing to fear.

Jalen C.
The part that I liked the most about this field trip was when the inmates told their stories. Out of all of them T-Bone was my favorite. While he was telling his story he reminded me of my uncle before he died. He is currently still locked up for almost the same crimes that my uncle committed. My uncle was shot one day after he was released from prison. I am glad that T-Bone was able to turn his life around and now he is dedicated to the FARM and helping to feed those in need.

I learned at the farm not to ever give up, always have a plan. Be able to communicate without arguing and talking at the same time.

I learned about how to not sell drugs or attempt to shot anybody. I am not going to do none of that because I don’t want to spend time in jail, and not be able to see my family. When I get older and have children I don’t want to go to jail because I won’t be able to see my kids and be there for their birthdays. I don’t want to miss out on my daughters and sons birthdays so I am going to try not to go.

Going to Farming 4 Hunger taught me how to work together as a team.

I had a lot of fun talking to Mr. Bernie and T-Bone, Will, Reds, Moe and Rico. Some of their stories where similar to mine. We did some activities there that had some teachable lessons. I learned that you make your own decisions.

I like when they told their stories. I enjoy hearing people life stories about everything they been through and how they learned from past things they’ve done. Why?, because I have done things in my life that I am not proud of and hearing other people’s stories sometimes give me hope. I respect Mr. Papa Bear for helping others change their lives. I love to see people help out when others fall down. Yes, it had an impact on me and it made me think twice and when T-Bone was talking about not being in his daughters life. My father not in my life and he missed all of my childhood, it’s sad he missed out. All I ever wanted was for me to have a bond with him. He is not locked up or dead so it hurts me even more. It’s like his choice for him not to be here with me.

What I really liked about the field trip was that we had a lot of fun with the inmates. We got to know each other and we vibed real good. I think it was great that we got to listen to them share their life because really they are not bad people. They just made some bad choices when they were young and it caused them to end up in jail. Other than that the trip was real good.

The field trip to Farming 4 Hunger was great. It was an eye opening in many ways. Going in to this trip I had already stereotyped it. But the outcome was very different. During this time I learned some valuable things such as team work. How necessary good communication is. Also that you can always turn your life around like the inmates did. My father was the same way. Their stories really spoke to me. But unlike T-Bone, Reds, Will and Rico my dad didn’t have the opportunity to change or go to a program like Food 4 Hunger to help. But what really helped me see is that society is wrong for righting them out. Everybody is capable of change, they just have to do it. I am so glad that Will is getting out and I wish him the best. To close that is what I thought about the trip.