Pursuant to Chapter 945, Florida Statutes, the Department of Corrections is responsible for the supervisory and protective care, custody and control of Florida's inmate population. This includes providing three meals a day to inmates housed in state-operated facilities throughout Florida. The Department is not responsible for providing food services to inmates housed in private facilities.
The Department prepares approximately 230,000 meals per day or approximately 90 million meals annually. The meals are produced in 123 kitchens located in major institutions, annexes, work camps, and other facilities throughout the state.The Department utilizes a 4-week cycle master menu that meets the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI's) established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. The menu contains a number of entrées and other menu items such as vegetables, cooked dried beans, and desserts to provide food items to meet the nutritional needs of the inmate population. Each meal features an entrée and may include the choice of an alternate entrée. The alternate entrée is utilized to provide a non-meat meal option that accommodates vegetarian and religious diet restrictions. The menu, including portion sizes, is specifically designed to meet the caloric requirements for moderately active adults and is reviewed and approved by a registered dietitian. The menu currently provides an average of 2,691 calories per day. The Department also provides a Certified Food Option (CFO) menu which accommodates religious diet needs through prepackaged meals and/or prepackaged food items certified by a nationally accepted kosher certification service or through meals utilizing food items served in their natural state (e.g. coffee, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables). An inmate who claims that the tenets of her/his claimed religious faith require provision of meals that conform to religious diet requirements and that no other meal option offered by the Department (such as the vegan or alternate entrée) is capable of meeting the diet requirements of that inmate's professed religious faith may request to participate in the CFO.