Inmates turn their lives around at the Northampton Senior Center - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Inmates turn their lives around at the Northampton Senior Center

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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Inside the Northampton Senior Center, you'll find great food in addition to some new chefs who are looking to give back to the community.
 
Three inmates from the Hampshire County House of Corrections were selected to work eight hours a day, two days a week while doing something they love.

 "I received my certificate and took twelve weeks of culinary arts experience, cooking alongside a chef," said Robert Curran-Grafton. 
 
The chefs cook anything and everything from vegetable panninis, autumn bisque soup, and even enough chocolate chip cookies for a school classroom.
 
"We get to utilize the skills we that we learned over at the jail and demonstrate those skills to the public," said William Gardner of South Hadley. 
 
"My whole life was just taking and taking and taking, and it just feels good for myself because I am actually doing something positive with myself," Eugenio Negron added. 

Senior Center Assistant Director Heather Cahillane and her father, Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick Cahillane, decided it was time to re-vamp Mary's Bistro while adding these talented chefs. 

"You've got to take this time to reflect on it, reflect on your actions, and take time to work on yourself to become a better person," Negron explained. 

When their sentence is up, a new group will take their place giving these men a new outlook on a life worth living.
 
Mary's Bistro is open to the public, and the senior center runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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