In the alleged Feeding Our Future scandal, the role of S&S Catering, Part 2

The free food scandal involves at least three distinct groups of alleged fraudsters. Not one person has been arrested or charged, to date.

In Part 1, we introduced the group of people and corporate entities surrounding the food vendor S&S Catering. Specifically, Part 1 documents the alleged activity at a single building in Minneapolis, the 301 block of East Lake Street. An FBI search warrant accuses S&S Catering of receiving almost $14 million in free food government money over the two years of 2020 and 2021. S&S Catering is said to have supplied meals for distribution to both the now-disbanded Feeding Our Future and to the currently suspended Partners in Nutrition networks.

One of the largest S&S Catering distribution sites has been labeled in Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) records as “Central Avenue Lofts.” This location is listed under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) as a distribution point for Feeding Our Future.

It’s a newer apartment building located in Northeast Minneapolis. In 2020, MDE had a maximum capacity listed for the location of 5,000 children per day. Its current capacity is listed as a more modest 500. The apartment building itself contains only 66 housing units.

One of those apartments, #220, is the home of a recently created nonprofit, Advance Youth Athletic Development. The FBI accuses its founder, Guhaad H. Said, of taking $3.2 million from the free food program (search warrant, p. 22, paragraphs 72 to 78). In March 2021 alone, Central Avenue Lofts billed the government for serving 5,000 children per day, both an afternoon snack and a dinner, at the above location (paragraph 74).

You may have heard of Mr. Said. He was first profiled in Alpha News in September 2016, described as providing “campaign muscle” in Rep. Ilhan Omar’s run for the state legislature that year. In 2019, Scott Johnson of PowerLine wrote about Guhaad, mentioning his felony arrest for a stabbing back in Mr. Said’s native Ohio.

Ohio court records show that Said was indeed arrested for felonious assault in Columbus, OH, in 2015. Records show the case as being later dismissed. Government records in Ohio indicate Said made an earlier effort in the nonprofit world, founding the Somali Youth Outreach Program.

After moving to Minnesota, Said gave politics a try himself, announcing a bid for the state House of Representatives.

His bid was announced at an early January 2018 event held at — where else? — the Safari Restaurant. But by late January, he was conspicuously absent at a DFL party candidate forum for the seat. Later in 2018, he was allegedly photographed standing near Omar at her election victory party at Safari Restaurant.

Now Said finds himself at the center of one of the biggest alleged frauds in state history.

Continue reading in Part 3 of this series.