Well, quantifiably, not much. Relative to the population at large, the number of people in jail for life is very small. Inmates’ food is provided by institutional suppliers like ARAMARK or Sodhexo, with fairly rigid portion control and serving allotment. This is a really interesting article about what prison food is actually like. Hopefully it can answer your question in more depth!
Alilstrom’s answer is a good one. In addition to the information already posted, here’s a little more. The Prison Index from 2003 indicates that daily costs for food per prisoner are only about 1/3 that of the average American, so it doesn’t really have a huge impact economically.
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