Corrections center meat store now open in northeastern Minnesota

FILE - Cooked turkey in roasting pan with meat thermometer during the preparation of a traditional American Thanksgiving holiday meal. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

The Northeast Regional Corrections Center has announced the final steps in a decades-long effort to open a retail store in partnership with its facility are now complete. 

The new meat processing retail store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday at the corrections center in Saginaw, Minnesota.

The store offers a variety of poultry, beef, pork and sausage, cut and prepared on-site by facility inmates as part of a job training program.

The Northeast Regional Corrections Center completed its new meat processing facility last fall, and since secured the necessary authorizations to open a retail store to sell meat to the public, according to an announcement.

The facility is part of the Arrowhead Regional Corrections system and has operated as a "work farm that works" since the 1930s – producing the meat and produce used to feed residents, while at the same time teaching a variety of life and job skills to increase odds of finding employment upon release, the announcement explained.

"The meat processing program has been a good service for our residents, teaching skills and setting them up for a future career when they leave here," Wally Kostich, ARC Executive Director said in a statement. "With the addition of the retail store, we are able to make this program a service to our community, as well, by offering for sale quality meats freshly processed and prepared right here on site."

The 136-bed facility is located on a 3,200-acre working farm that produces chickens, turkeys and pigs, along with flowers, vegetables, hay and barley. 

Arrowhead Regional Corrections is a joint powers agency providing correctional services to Carlton, Cook, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis counties.