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First meal: A Whopper with fries, a shake and a Coke Zero from Burger King

First meal: A Whopper with fries, a shake and a Coke Zero from Burger King

For Stacy Burnett, the choices at the Burger King in Montrose, PA were overwhelming, so much so that she couldn't make a decision. "I could feel the energy shift behind me," Burnett, 39, said of the growing restlessness behind her. She finally told the cashier that she'll have what the woman ahead of her ordered, which was a whopper, fries, a shake and a soda. For the first six months after her release, going to the supermarket was tremendously difficult. There were simply too many choices, and if she didn't get anything in the first 10 minutes, she would leave without getting anything.

First Meal: Two Supreme Steak Chalupas, a Steak Burrito and a Large Mountain Dew Baja Blast from Taco Bell

First Meal: Two Supreme Steak Chalupas, a Steak Burrito and a Large Mountain Dew Baja Blast from Taco Bell

"It tasted like freedom, really," said Levi Wheeler, 29, about the meal he ate from Taco Bell after getting out on Sept. 5, 2014. "I been waiting for five years to eat that," he said. The food in prison is largely devoid of any real taste, which makes food after prison such a delight. Wheeler finds, however, that he's still nervous in a supermarket. "I feel like people are looking at ya, like you’re gonna steal stuff," he said. Yet, the freedom to choose what he eats is comforting.

First Meal: Classic Coffee Cake from Starbucks

First Meal: Classic Coffee Cake from Starbucks

Upon seeing the coffee cake at Starbucks, Colleen Macomber knew what she would order. The choices available to her there were too many, and the coffee cake struck her as something familiar because on Thursday mornings in prison, she would have coffee cake for breakfast. The one at Starbucks, however, did not taste as good as the one inside.

First Meal: Three Supreme Doritos Locos Tacos (Ranch, Regular and Fiery) and a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast

First Meal: Three Supreme Doritos Locos Tacos (Ranch, Regular and Fiery) and a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast

"Man, it was so good, so much flavor," Aaron Lyerla said of the Taco Bell meal he ate upon getting out on June 5, 2014. Lyerla served 18 months, a reduced sentence from his original 41, and he worked in the kitchen, where he had a firsthand look at the ingredients the prison uses. For him and others, the hamburger meat was the worst. Since getting out, however, Lyerla has wholly enjoyed cooking his own meals. Whenever he's in a supermarket, people close to him say he's "like a kid in a candy store."

First Meal: Everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and a medium coffee from Dunkin Donuts

First Meal: Everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and a medium coffee from Dunkin Donuts

"I was craving a really good bagel," said Keri Blakinger, 30, who served 21 months in female correctional facilities in NY. Blakinger, a vegetarian, subsisted mostly on canned vegetables and granola bars, which she received in packages from her parents. Since getting out, her diet has not changed much because she grew accustomed to not having to cook for herself.

First Meal: Large Meat Lover's Pan Pizza and a Naked Mighty Mango juice

First Meal: Large Meat Lover's Pan Pizza and a Naked Mighty Mango juice

"I went to prison, basically, to learn how to cook from mobsters," said Seth Ferranti, 43, of the 21 years he spent in prison. He avoided the meal hall as much as he could because the food wasn't good, so he cooked as much as possible, while learning techniques from other prisoners, like cooking spaghetti with a hot pot. After getting out in August, the first thing Ferranti ate was a large Meat Lover's Pizza in the car on the way to the halfway house. "I ate it cold," he said. One of the biggest things for him is being able to choose what to eat, and he cooks more than ever now that he's out.

First meal: A Whopper with fries, a shake and a Coke Zero from Burger King

For Stacy Burnett, the choices at the Burger King in Montrose, PA were overwhelming, so much so that she couldn't make a decision. "I could feel the energy shift behind me," Burnett, 39, said of the growing restlessness behind her. She finally told the cashier that she'll have what the woman ahead of her ordered, which was a whopper, fries, a shake and a soda. For the first six months after her release, going to the supermarket was tremendously difficult. There were simply too many choices, and if she didn't get anything in the first 10 minutes, she would leave without getting anything.

First Meal: Two Supreme Steak Chalupas, a Steak Burrito and a Large Mountain Dew Baja Blast from Taco Bell

"It tasted like freedom, really," said Levi Wheeler, 29, about the meal he ate from Taco Bell after getting out on Sept. 5, 2014. "I been waiting for five years to eat that," he said. The food in prison is largely devoid of any real taste, which makes food after prison such a delight. Wheeler finds, however, that he's still nervous in a supermarket. "I feel like people are looking at ya, like you’re gonna steal stuff," he said. Yet, the freedom to choose what he eats is comforting.

First Meal: Classic Coffee Cake from Starbucks

Upon seeing the coffee cake at Starbucks, Colleen Macomber knew what she would order. The choices available to her there were too many, and the coffee cake struck her as something familiar because on Thursday mornings in prison, she would have coffee cake for breakfast. The one at Starbucks, however, did not taste as good as the one inside.

First Meal: Three Supreme Doritos Locos Tacos (Ranch, Regular and Fiery) and a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast

"Man, it was so good, so much flavor," Aaron Lyerla said of the Taco Bell meal he ate upon getting out on June 5, 2014. Lyerla served 18 months, a reduced sentence from his original 41, and he worked in the kitchen, where he had a firsthand look at the ingredients the prison uses. For him and others, the hamburger meat was the worst. Since getting out, however, Lyerla has wholly enjoyed cooking his own meals. Whenever he's in a supermarket, people close to him say he's "like a kid in a candy store."

First Meal: Everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and a medium coffee from Dunkin Donuts

"I was craving a really good bagel," said Keri Blakinger, 30, who served 21 months in female correctional facilities in NY. Blakinger, a vegetarian, subsisted mostly on canned vegetables and granola bars, which she received in packages from her parents. Since getting out, her diet has not changed much because she grew accustomed to not having to cook for herself.

First Meal: Large Meat Lover's Pan Pizza and a Naked Mighty Mango juice

"I went to prison, basically, to learn how to cook from mobsters," said Seth Ferranti, 43, of the 21 years he spent in prison. He avoided the meal hall as much as he could because the food wasn't good, so he cooked as much as possible, while learning techniques from other prisoners, like cooking spaghetti with a hot pot. After getting out in August, the first thing Ferranti ate was a large Meat Lover's Pizza in the car on the way to the halfway house. "I ate it cold," he said. One of the biggest things for him is being able to choose what to eat, and he cooks more than ever now that he's out.

First meal: A Whopper with fries, a shake and a Coke Zero from Burger King
First Meal: Two Supreme Steak Chalupas, a Steak Burrito and a Large Mountain Dew Baja Blast from Taco Bell
First Meal: Classic Coffee Cake from Starbucks
First Meal: Three Supreme Doritos Locos Tacos (Ranch, Regular and Fiery) and a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast
First Meal: Everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and a medium coffee from Dunkin Donuts
First Meal: Large Meat Lover's Pan Pizza and a Naked Mighty Mango juice