ISP staff donates 400-lbs to Harmony Kitchen: Holiday season support an 'annual tradition'

"Ironwood State Prison (ISP) staff worked together for a month to collect items to assist Harmony Kitchen with supplying nourishing food, for those who are less fortunate," stated ISP Community Resource Manager Carey Ochs of the approximately 400-lbs. foods donation to the resident Harmony Kitchen non-profit, Nov. 20. Pictured, left to right: ISP Warden Neil McDowell; Harmony Kitchen's volunteer staff Garry Bolding and Shadow Lindsey; ISP Deputy Warden Richard Smith; Healthcare CEO Eric Anderson; ISP Public Information Officer (PIO) Kelli Madsen; Ochs; Associate Wardens John Merchant and Phillip Messerli. (Photo by Uriel Avendano/Palo Verde Valley Times)

The leadership from Ironwood State Prison (ISP) returned to the Harmony Kitchen again this year in an effort to provide the meal center with needed holiday support with roughly 400-lbs of food items for clients.

“Ironwood State Prison (ISP) staff worked together for a month to collect items to assist Harmony Kitchen with supplying nourishing food, for those who are less fortunate,” stated ISP Community Resource Manager Carey Ochs to the Times. “This year, the staff were able to collect approximately 400 pounds of food for the holidays. This food drive is an annual tradition for ISP staff and it’s one they look forward to.”

ISP Warden Neil McDowell further stated he is proud of prison staff for coming together again in 2019 to support the vital campaign:

“We know the community of Blythe is strong and our staff have a lot to give.”

Ochs added:

“The holidays should be a special time of the year for everyone and as staff at ISP, we feel fortunate to be able to give back to our community. When we come together as a team and each make a small contribution, it can culminate into something wonderful!”

In October, ISP also donated to local organizations around the community – including $3,274.07 to the Blythe Cancer Resource Center (BCRC), $1,447.34 to the Joe Wine Recreation Center, $149.54 to the Frank Luke American Legion Post #24, $1,826.74 to the Blythe Police Activities League (PAL), $610.70 to the Eve’s Place victims advocate organization and $610.70 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2987.

For Harmony Kitchen’s Garry Bolding and Shadow Lindsey, the food donation is a generous and welcome holiday gesture from a public institution who’s provided support for the low income meal center for years.

“(ISP) always get a lot of cans for their drives, and we get a big donation from them every year. (...) The donations help cut down on the overhead with the canned vegetables, the turkeys, and things like that,” said Bolding, noting Harmony Kitchen also hosts a Thanksgiving dinner for clients as well. “We thank them for their generous donations. Neil and Carey do a great job running it, every time.”

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