Chow Hall at San Quentin State Prison. Photo by Eddie Herena

I want to tell you about our meals in the great state of Texas. These are typical anytime we are on our bi-annual lockdown, or any lockdown for that matter, including this current coronavirus quarantine. I know many out there are having trouble getting food, so I feel bad complaining about this. But I think it’s important to share. 

We only get “Johnny sacks” on lockdown. Texas prison policy states that when feeding in-cell meals, they must bring milk and coffee or coffee and an orange drink for breakfast and tea or juice for lunch and dinner. All servings are standard sized. Corn dogs are standard, child sized. Having said this, I’ll give you a list of our meals from April 4 through April 18, 2020. I’ll also include the times they feed us. There are cameras to prove what I’m saying is true. 

All times noted in military time: 

April 9

  • Breakfast: 0800: 1 Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, 1 egg, 1 oz cereal. No drink. 
  • Lunch: 1717: 1 PB & J pancake sandwich, 24 raisins, 1 hot dog, 2 slices of bread. No drink.
  • Dinner: (technically 4/10) 0150: 1 PB&J, 1 chicken  patty sandwich, no drink. 

April 10

  • Breakfast: 0440; 1 PB&J, 1 egg, 1 oz cereal. No drink. 
  • Lunch: 1128;  1 PB&J, 6 prunes, 1 frozen burrito. No drink. 
  • Dinner: 1609; 1 PB&J, 2 corn dogs. No drink. 

April 11

  • Breakfast: 0318; 1 PB&J, 1 oz cereal, 32 raisins. No drink. 
  • Lunch: 1017; 1 PB&J, 1 soy hamburger patty with cheese. No drink. 
  • Dinner: 1520; 1 PB&J, 1 chicken patty sandwich. 22 raisins. No drink. 

April 12, Easter

  • Breakfast: 0350; 1 PB&J on a burger bun, 1 oz cereal, 37 raisins. No drink. 
  • Lunch: 1135; 1 PB&J pancake sandwich, 1 frozen burrito. No drink. 
  • Dinner: 1800; 1 PB&J pancake sandwich, 2 corn dogs. No drink. 

*NOTE: This is the first burger bun I’ve seen in 12 years. 

April 13

  • Breakfast: 0345; 1 PB&J pancake sandwich, 1 oz cereal. Mild at 0430.
  • Lunch:1409; 1 PB&J pancake sandwich, 1 chicken patty sandwich. No drink. 
  • Dinner: (technically 4/14) 0040; 1 PB&J pancake sandwich, 1 bologna on a biscuit. No drink. 

April 14

  • Breakfast: 0948; 1 PB&J Pancake sandwich, 1 oz cereal, 1 egg. No drink. 
  • Lunch: 1426; 1 PB&J, 1 soyburger on cornbread. No drink. 
  • Dinner: 2200; 1 PB&J, 1 soyburger. No drink. 

*NOTE: They often give us the same meal twice in one day.

April 15

  • Breakfast: 0343; 1 PB&J, 1 oz cereal, 27 raisins. Milk. 
  • Lunch: 1235; 1 PB&J, 1 salami and cheese sandwich. No drink. 
  • Dinner: 1530; 1 PB&J, 1 frozen burrito. No drink. 

April 16: My Very Unhappy Birthday

  • Breakfast: 0426; 1 PB&J pancake sandwich, 1 egg. No drink. 
  • Lunch: 1229; 1 PB&J pancake sandwich, 1 soyburger on cornbread. No drink. 
  • Dinner: 1646; 1 PB&J, 1 frozen fish square sandwich. No drink. 

April 17

  • Breakfast: [time not recorded]; 1 PB&J, 1 oz cereal, 25 raisins. No drink.
  • Lunch: 1246; 1 PB&J, 1 burrito. No drink. 
  • Dinner: 1733; 1 PB&J, 1 salami and cheese. No drink. 

April 18

  • Breakfast: 0320; 1 PB&J, 1 egg, 1 oz cereal. No drink. 
  • Lunch: 1455; 1 PB&J, 1 salami and cheese. No drink. 
  • Dinner: 1726; 1 PB&J, 1 soyburger. No drink. 

Keep in mind the raisin count is different in every bag. I’m sure you noticed the biscuit, cornbread, and pancake sandwiches. This is what they do when they don’t have bread or wish to save money. In my 12 years, I have been through many lockdowns, and it’s always the same. I have life without parole so I’ll go through many more lockdowns.

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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William T. Jacobsen

William T. Jacobsen is a writer incarcerated in Texas.