More collateral damage from the Feeding Our Future scandal

This week we’ve been highlighting many of the unrelated nonprofits who were shut down in the wake of the FBI raids back in January.

After the raids, the state Department of Education (MDE) took the extraordinary step of completely shutting down a second large nonprofit network Partners in Nutrition, d/b/a Partners in Quality Care. At the time, Partners served hundreds of local food distribution sites around the state.

The vast majority of these sites had never done business with Feeding Our Future or any of its food vendors. These local nonprofits were never mentioned in any FBI search warrants or indictments in the case, and yet, they were also shut down by MDE.

We discuss two of them here.

Partners in Nutrition is suing MDE in both state and Federal courts for reinstatement to the free-food programs. Specifically, Partners is seeking to reinstate 213 locations to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Each one tells a story. Five of those 213 sites are hosted by two local nonprofits: All Somali Community Worldwide and Youth Skills Development.

Before being shut down by MDE, the two nonprofits hosted a total of 13 distribution locations under Partners in the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Collectively, these sites had the maximum capability of serving more than 22,000 children per day, throughout the metro area,

All Somali hosted nine of the locations. We had previously mentioned this nonprofit and their Blake Road location in our visit to Hopkins back in June. The Cliff Road location was mentioned in our visit to Burnsville.

All Somali is seeking to reinstate two locations, including the one on Nicollet Avenue in Burnsville and another location on Bloomington Avenue.

It previously shared a 13th Avenue address in Minneapolis with another nonprofit, Al Firdows Center, under Partners in Nutrition. Each effort was authorized to serve up to 2,000 children per day. Al Firdows is separately seeking reinstatement to the CACFP program under Partners. In the meantime, Al Firdows continues to operate a summer food service program (SFSP) site under a different sponsor with a more modest capacity of 240.

All Somali has eight unpaid food invoices dating back to January 2022. The reasons that MDE is refusing to pay these claims range from delivering groceries rather than meals, to submitting an invoice from an unregistered vendor, to submitting information from the wrong month.

Youth Skills Development is seeing reinstatement for three locations, including a new location in Fridley. Youth Skills has four invoices pending with MDE, also for allegedly using an unregistered vendor and delivering groceries rather than meals.

Youth Skills was founded in May 2021.