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Delaware Opportunity Zones: Second Chance Farm envisions path out of recidivism

March 01, 2019 12:47 PM | Philanthropy Delaware (Administrator)

The Welfare Foundation is a member of Philanthropy Delaware.

Ajit Mathew George sees a future where state or federal inmates from Delaware will have farming jobs — and futures as entrepreneurs — waiting for them when they’re released. All within the Wilmington city limits.

“On average, about 100 men and women are released from Delaware prisons every month to three Wilmington ZIP codes [19801, 19802 and 19805],” says George, who formed Second Chances Farm to hire and offer turnkey entrepreneurial opportunities to men and women returning from prison. He plans to open “vertical farms” inside abandoned warehouses and empty office space close to where these former prisoners live. They’ll be growing crops on LED-lit hydroponic towers that do not require soil, pesticides, or even natural sunlight.

The Welfare Foundation, which supports nonprofits focused on social-welfare causes in Delaware and southern Chester County, awarded Second Chances Farm No. 1 a startup grant of $175,000 following the Reinventing Delaware event. 

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