While the exact regulations for ordering food for an inmate vary by state and by institution, in general, food can be ordered online, via phone, through the mail and via fax. Union Supply Direct is the approved commissary supplier for federal, state and county facilities.
Union Supply Direct puts out catalogs specifically for correctional facilities that include only the items approved by that facility's program. As of 2015, the catalog advertises such items as potato chips, candy and other snacks. To shop for the food packages online, input the inmate's ID number into the form. The catalog is also available as a hard copy. For a hard copy of the catalog, request it through the correctional facility itself.
States dictate their own regulations regarding ordering food for inmates. For instance, Florida only allows families and friends to purchase a maximum of $100 worth of food from the vendor. Inmates are not allowed to order from the catalogs themselves. Likewise, the number of food packages inmates can receive depends on their security level.
Families and friends can also download an order form through the company website. This allows them to either customize the food order or order more than one shipment of the pre-made packages. Customized food orders must fit into a box, the size of which is dictated by the correctional facility.