From chicken fingers to waffles to boiled eggs, BC prisons serve a variety of foods.
Inmates in BC prisons are served a wide variety of different food options while in police custody.
After hearing rumors that some people were being fed a very specific fast food chain, Glacier Media decided to investigate.
From frozen meals to burritos to meat pies, we contacted every municipal police department and RCMP detachment in British Columbia to find out what they serve to their “customers”.
Many responded with full menus, including dietary restrictions.
There are at least three locations – Port Moody Police Department, Saanich Police Department and West Vancouver Police Department – that serve McDonald’s to their prisoners.
Abbotsford Police Department
When arrested and held in custody in Abbotsford, people receive food from Sysco Canada.
sergeant. Paul Walker says there are two options for food when it comes to dinner and lunch.
Breakfast is always waffles. Dinner and lunch are either samosas or burritos (chicken or beef). Additional items include juice and cookies, but the type of cookies is unclear.
Central Saanich Police Department
const. Tristan Gentile says that at Central Saanich, prisoners have a variety of options.
“For late hours, we have frozen meals, like waffles or burritos, with a vegetarian option,” he says.
If store hours permit, they will also purchase a fresh sandwich of their choice and a cold drink from the deli at their local grocery store.
“We also work around dietary needs and restrictions,” says Gentile.
Delta Police Department
Prisoners are transported to cells in Surrey; see Surrey RCMP.
Many RCMP detachments have their food supply chosen by the city as it is a municipal “expense”.
Kristen Rodrigue, communications supervisor for the city of Kamloops, agreed to Glacier Media’s request and was able to check with the community services division that operates the cell block. It has a “high level overview” of meals.
In cells in Kamloops, clients receive meals prepared in advance.
“We have a variety of meal options designed to accommodate dietary restrictions (i.e. diabetic needs) and religious restrictions. Depending on the length of stay, there are also catering options,” says Rodrigue .
const. Kelowna RCMP Media Relations Officer Mike Della-Paolera gave a detailed explanation of what they offer prisoners.
“Here in Kelowna, we supply food from the Safeway deli department,” he says.
This can include sandwiches or hot meals like chicken fingers and fries or Chinese food.
For breakfast they have granola bars, hard boiled eggs and juice or coffee.
“Coffee is offered twice a day,” says Della-Paolera.
“We will provide snacks such as fresh fruit, granola bars or cookies for those who have missed their scheduled meal times and are hungry when they enter our facility.”
He adds that it is unusual for a prisoner to stay longer than 24 hours. If this happens, the gendarmes will order a hot meal for them.
“If we have a supplement when a prisoner is released directly from our cells, and if he asks for it, we will ensure that he has a small lunch bag to take with him,” he says.
Nelson Police Department
Did not respond to Glacier Media’s request.
New Westminster Police Department
A crowd favorite comes from New Westminster Police, which offers a unique option to its prisoners.
Hailey Finnigan, Strategic Communications Coordinator, explains that food offered to people staying in New Westminster Police Department cells includes: meat pies, waffles, juice and Oreo cookies.
“These offers have been around for as long as anyone who works here can remember,” she says.
And people aren’t crazy about it.
“I was told that we hadn’t received any complaints about the meat pies in particular,” she says. “In fact, sometimes people who had the meat pie will later come to our counter to ask if they can have another one.”
Port Moody Police Department
When the Port Moody Police Department has prisoners in custody, they receive meals from McDonald’s.
“The main reason for this is the proximity of a nearby McDonalds restaurant with which we share a property line,” explains agent Sam Zacharias, media relations officer.
Cpl. Richmond RCMP Media Relations Officer Ian Henderson tells Glacier Media that their location has plenty of great dining options.
“The city of Richmond is host to some of the most amazing food in the world, with world-class chefs and restaurants. But if you’re looking for a culinary treat, don’t come to the Richmond RCMP cell block,” he says.
They provide only the essentials: white or whole wheat bread, margarine, coffee creamer and sweetener. Meals include canned dumplings, chicken or vegetable soup, chicken or vegetable instant noodles, frozen meat pies, and sliced cheese.
Drinks include coffee, tea, hot chocolate, apple and orange juice, milk and water
“Enough for a one or two night stay. Maybe three nights if you’re unlucky enough to get stopped at the start of a long weekend,” says Henderson.
People are not detained longer than that in their establishment.
“We will do our best to accommodate nutritional limitations due to medical necessity or cultural practice,” Henderson says.
Saanich Police Department
If you are arrested and taken into custody at Saanich, you will also receive McDonald’s for all three meals.
const. Markus Anastasiades says that for breakfast, prisoners are given a value-added meal of Sausage McMuffin (hashbrown and a coffee) or a value-added meal Egg McMuffin (hashbrown and a coffee), which is a vegetarian option.
Lunch and dinner options include the full meal with McPicks McDouble Meal (fries and soft drink) or a value-added meal BLT Egg McMuffin (fries and soft drink).
“Our building, especially our cell, doesn’t have the physical space to store or prepare food,” Anastasiades explains. of 2021.”
Food restrictions or allergies are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Sidney North Saanich RCMP
Frozen entrees or pasta are served to prisoners while in custody at Sidney North Saanich RCMP Detachment.
“All meals are prepared in-house by our commissionaire guards,” explains Corporal Andres Flores Sanchez.
There is a “range of meals”, including waffles in syrup, muffins, toast with butter and jam, and pasta. For drinking, they serve water, coffee, tea and juice.
“We also keep a vegetarian and gluten-free option if the customer requests it,” he says.
Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police Services
According to Sgt. Michael Leo, there are no cells, so prisoners are transported to Whistler RCMP.
The Surrey RCMP Detachment happens to be right next to the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre. All meals served to inmates come from the centre’s kitchen.
Media Relations Officer Cpl. Vanessa Munn says prisoner food is outsourced to the kitchen.
“Meals vary depending on the dietary needs of the prisoner such as kosher, vegan or halal,” she says.
People get two sandwiches, a cookie or muffin, fruit and juice.
Vancouver Police Department
“I’m sorry, but we won’t be able to respond at this time,” the VPD said in an email to Glacier Media.
Victoria Police Service
const. Cam MacIntyre says the department’s meals come from a local restaurant, not a fast food joint.
A typical meal for someone in our care is a sandwich, fruit, muffin, and juice or water.
“We welcome those who are gluten-free or vegetarian,” he says.
West Bank RCMP
People detained at the West Shore RCMP Detachment will eat food from Thrifty Foods grocery store.
“It has been going on for years and the reason is that it allows the purchase of healthier options,” explains Constable Meghan Groulx.
Some of the meals include stews, pastas, soups, chicken fingers, vegetarian dishes, muffins and fruit cups.
West Vancouver Police Department
The third location to confirm they serve McDonald’s to people in custody is West Vancouver.
const. Nicole Braithwaite confirmed that the department serves Golden Arches food, but did not specify what options.
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