Feeding Our Future: collateral damage report No. 5

In the wake of the Feeding Our Future scandal, this series has been documenting the fallout among unrelated food charities. Not only was Feeding Our Future shuttered by state authorities, so were hundreds of local food nonprofits who never did business with FOF. We profile another three in this post.

Rob Williams, CEO of the legitimate food charity Every Meal, has an opinion piece in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week, lamenting the impact on legitimate food charities like his from the Feeding Our Future scandal.

Truth is, more than 300,000 Minnesota kids face empty kitchen cupboards at home, and Feeding Our Future’s fraud hurt them more than anyone else.

As I’ve previously documented, the free-food network Partners in Nutrition (d/b/a Partners in Quality Care) had claimed to be feeding 600,000 of the state’s 850,000 children.

If 300,000 children are truly going hungry in Minnesota, that represents more than a third of the youth population in the state and constitutes a national scandal.

The three nonprofits profiled here never did business with Feeding Our Future, have never been mentioned in any FBI search warrants or indictments, and have never been accused of any wrongdoing. But when the state Department of Education (MDE) shut down the Partners in Nutrition network in January, after the Feeding Our Future raids, their food operations also ceased.

Together, these three nonprofits operated six food-distribution locations in three cities, bringing a maximum capacity of more than 10,000 children per day.

Adecco is seeking reinstatement for the 43rd Street location to the free-food program through Partners’ lawsuit against MDE. It has four unpaid invoices pending at MDE, two for each location, from February and April of this year.

Partners has filed separate lawsuits against MDE in the state Court of Appeals. One lawsuit seeks reinstatement to the program. The other seeks payment of past invoices.

For one of the four unpaid invoices, MDE cites as the reason for nonpayment that the business registration for their food vendor had lapsed in January and was not reinstated until July.

B and B appears to refer to the nonprofit B&B Program. This nonprofit was incorporated in July 2021, coincidentally at the same address in Burnsville as the Adecco food vendor mentioned above. B and B has four invoices unpaid by MDE, allegedly for delivering groceries rather than prepared meals.

I visited the address of B and B’s Cliff Road operation here.

The nonprofit M5 Care was incorporated in February 2021. Its organizers appear to include one of the persons involved in the formation of B and B. It has two invoices pending at MDE, again for allegedly delivering groceries rather than meals.

As Minnesota struggles to feed more than a third of its children, we appear to be leaving a lot of capacity on the sidelines.