The free-food empire strikes back
The suspended nonprofit Partners in Nutrition wins a round in its appeal against the state Dept. of Education. One of three free-food nonprofits suspended in the wake of the Feeding…
It’s been exactly 30 days since the FBI raids on the St. Anthony-based free-food nonprofit Feeding Our Future. With the passing of time, more questions have piled up than answers.
Not one person has been arrested or charged. Let’s start with that one. Why not? What are we waiting for? A number of alleged participants have been accused of purchasing assets and properties overseas. Is flight risk not a consideration?
The nonprofit’s CEO has denied any and all wrongdoing. Is she innocent? An unwitting dupe? Is she correct that the whole alleged scandal is a racist vendetta?
What, if anything, is the state Department of Education (MDE) doing to ensure that this doesn’t happen again in the summer of 2022? Are new sites/new sponsors still being approved, no questions asked?
Forget summer — what is MDE doing to ensure that the fraud is not still being perpetrated today?
Now that the pandemic has largely passed, is MDE stepping up site visits and due diligence on invoices? Should background checks be done for sponsors/participants/vendors?
Now that the pandemic has largely passed, do we still need a free-food program of this scale?
MDE shut down two nonprofit networks, Feeding Our Future and Partners in Nutrition (dba Partners in Quality Care). There is a long and complex inter-related history of these two.
There are instances of sites and nonprofits being transferred from one to another. There are sites and nonprofits being absorbed from third-party networks. There are sites and nonprofits being spun off into new networks. Is MDE investigating those sites/nonprofits/vendors/networks that used to be part of Feeding Our Future and/or Partners in Nutrition?
What about other nonprofits who are either co-located with Feeding Our Future or who fit the same profile (short history with explosive growth). Are they being investigated?
Of the hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money that went out the door, how much was lost to fraud? None of it? 10 percent? Half? If the amount is more than zero, can any of it be clawed back?
What did our elected officials know, and when did they know it?
How many children per day are reliant on free-food programs? How are they eating now that the program is partially shut down?
Should income requirements for recipients be reinstated?
For those of you who like your documents in the original, I have posted the following:
The U.S. Attorney’s Jan. 21 filing to seize 14 properties can be viewed here.