Feeding Our Future: 2722 Park Avenue (re)visited

A Victorian mansion-turned-office building sits at the heart of the scandal.

Yesterday, we visited forfeiture properties Nos. 6 and 7 in the Feeding Our Future case. The properties at 2722 and 2742 Park Avenue are both listed in the U.S. Attorney’s lawsuit seeking forfeiture of the (alleged) ill-gotten gains of the Feeding Our Future scandal.

2722 is a stately mansion in the Midtown neighborhood just west of Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Built in 1901, it’s now turned into an office building.

2722 Park Avenue

The adjacent 2742 address is occupied by a large surface parking lot, which wraps around the office building.

2742 Park Avenue

According to records on file at Hennepin County, the two properties were purchased by the owners of the Safari Restaurant in July 2021 for a total price of $2.8 million.

According to records on file at the state Department of Education, the address was listed as a free-food distribution site under the Horn of Africa nonprofit with a listed capacity of 1,000 children per day. The site operated under the sponsorship of Partners in Nutrition.

In addition, there are five other unrelated free-food distribution sites listed for that same block of 2700 Park Avenue.

One of the other nonprofits implicated in the scandal, Stigma-Free International, is headquartered at the 2722 Park Avenue address.

In a search warrant, the FBI details how the Safari Restaurant owners (allegedly) laundered the money from Feeding Our Future (partly through Stigma-Free) to purchase the Park Avenue property (page 37, paragraphs 117 through 121).

Not one person has been arrested or charged with fraud in the case.

Inevitably, it turns out that there are many Department of Human Services (DHS)-licensed businesses in the 2700 block of Park Avenue. These include personal care assistant (PCA) companies, childcare, and senior care companies. None of these entities are related in any way to the free-food scandal.

Four of the companies on the block offer PCA services. Two of the four are listed at 2722 Park Avenue. Three of the four are current vendors to DHS, taking in more than $3 million per year.