14th guilty plea entered in Feeding Our Future scandal
The latest is Defendant No. 24 (of 60) in the case, Sahra Nur. She was the second person indicted under the S&S Catering group, and ran the nonprofit Academy for…
Your correspondent visits the scene of the (alleged) crime.
They say that the map is not the terrain. In that spirit, your correspondent visited, in person, the office building where Feeding Our Future is located in St. Anthony, Minnesota.
3055 Old Highway 8, now known as the St. Anthony Business Center, was once home to Medtronic’s corporate headquarters. The two-building site occupies a stranded piece of property bounded by the new Highway 88 and a residential neighborhood.
We previously noted that the building houses more than just Feeding Our Future. It is a multi-story, multi-tenant building that also hosts two other large free-food operations.
MAK Community Enrichment and Success Institute continue to be active in the federal free-food programs.
Although Feeding Our Future has gone out of business, not one person has been arrested or charged in the scandal. Two involved individuals have been arrested on charges of passport fraud.
Ironically, the 3055 address is itself listed as a free-food distribution site, but by the rival organization Partners in Nutrition, along with a small site for the on-premises child-care center.
At the peak, the site claimed the capacity to serve 11,000 children per day, more than the entire population (children and adults) of St. Anthony.
We can report that the parking lot for the complex appears adequate to serve the office buildings. But it would be incapable of serving thousands of children passing through to pick up free food.
Beyond free food, the 3055 address is a beehive of entrepreneurial activity. But unlike the heyday of Medtronic and other Minnesota-grown Fortune 500 companies, the focus appears to be on extracting taxpayer dollars through government entitlement programs.
The state Department of Human Services (DHS) lists twelve (12) licensed home and community care (personal care assistant (PCA)) businesses located at the 3055 address.
Of the twelve, seven are vendors of DHS, with total site revenue exceeding $2 million per year. Activity in the state programs has noticeably ramped up in recent years.
There is a connection between the nondescript office building in St. Anthony and another nondescript office building in nearby Brooklyn Center.
3300 County Highway 10 anchors a four-building office complex at the intersection of Bass Lake Road and Brooklyn Boulevard. The complex hosts twenty PCA businesses:
In addition to the 18 listed above, the site hosts two individuals licensed as PCAs. Of the 18 PCA companies located in the complex, 14 are vendors to DHS, taking in nearly $11 million a year in revenue. All 20 businesses are listed as active and currently licensed by DHS.
Again, activity by these companies appears to have ramped up considerably over the past two years. If only Minnesota could harness this effort for the private sector.
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