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Food Services and Commissary

The Sheriff’s Food Services Division provides food services for all San Diego County detention facilities. At the heart of the operation is a 41,000 square foot centralized food production facility capable of preparing and packaging over 40,000 meals per day. Meals are prepared using a modern “cook-chill” process. They are then distributed to the facilities where they are reheated and served. An expert staff, comprised of food service managers and dietitians work together to serve inmates three meals each day that meet both nutritional requirements and national regulations. The menu development process is highly innovative in order to allocate resources efficiently while delivering both variety and quality. Additionally, the food service team collaborates with the medical staff to provide therapeutic diets designed for inmates with dietary needs.

The Sheriff’s Department’s food services program is considered one of the most progressive in the nation, and has received many awards for its quality and efficiency. In addition to serving the inmates and staff of all seven jails, meals are provided under contract to the Probation Department facilities. The Food Services Division participates in the National School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, and the After School Program. By participating in these programs, the Sheriff's Department is able to deliver additional nutrition to the youths in probation, enhancing their physical and mental development and increasing their ability to learn. The funding from these programs ensures that the youths receive sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk, and healthy sources of protein. This partnership represents a tremendous value for the citizens of San Diego County. The Food Services Division is operated in accordance with Title 15 of the California Administrative Code, American Correctional Association regulations, and the California Retail Food Safety Law (CalCode).


Inmates may purchase a variety of commissary items to be delivered to them in their housing units. Each inmate receives a copy of the Commissary Order Form and can place orders once each week. The items available for purchase include but are not limited to: food items, hygiene products, stationery, reading glasses, pre-paid telephone time and over-the-counter medication.

The cost of commissary items is comparable to convenience store prices and is purchased using money from the inmate’s account. Money is maintained on the inmate’s account from cash that they had at the time of arrest and through subsequent deposits from family and friends. Deposits may be made to an inmate’s account at the Information Office of any Sheriff’s detention facility or by visiting

Questions about Commissary or e-Commerce purchases can be directed to (619) 661-2860. (Do not contact facilities)

Requests for reimbursement of pre-paid telephone time can be made to the inmate telephone provider, Securus, at (800) 844-6591.