Inmates eat well doing time in watchhouse

IF you break the law, and end up in the Gladstone watchhouse you're going to be well fed.

That's what Gladstone Fruit Shop owner Helen Whitaker says anyway.

And she should know.

Three times a day she gets a fax from the police station that says how many prisoners there are and therefore how many meals she will have to make.

She has been cooking for Gladstone prisoners for two years now.

"Providing those meals has been great for our business because you need to have all of those tentacles out there to compete against the big stores these days," she said.

"We give them fresh cooked meals that we make every day.

"We didn't apply for the tender. We have a good reputation around town."

She said the largest number of people behind bars she'd had to cook for was 11.

"But that's a lot because it's 33 meals we made for them," she said.

"We open at 3.30am just to start preparing.

"(On Wednesday) there were three. That's about normal.

"It's unusual to have more than that."

The meals they provide prisoners can also be bought from the store.

"We have pushed out more than 600 meals from our shop in a day," she said.

Gladstone police declined to comment.

What's on the menu:

For breakfast: A bacon and egg roll

For lunch: Meat and a salad roll with a piece of fruit

For dinner: A roast, stir fry or curry

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