Former President Donald Trump's administration exploited a multibillion dollar food aid program designed to help food insecure families gain access to fresh produce in the wake of the pandemic that's killed over 700 thousand Americans.
A report from the majority staff of the congressional Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, after a year-long investigation, found the Trump administration awarded nearly $100 million in contracts to woefully under-qualified companies with "serious red flags." Among these companies was CRE8AD8, a wedding events service with little relevant food distribution experience. The administration initially awarded a $40 million contract to Ben Holtz Consulting, even though the firm responded to a request references in its bid proposal with "I don't have any." The contract was later canceled.
The report also details that the Trump administration used the food boxes for political gain, including a letter with Trump's signature in each box, crediting the former President with the delivery and the program itself.
Trump's administration also announced the program's extension at an event that coincided with the opening of the Republican National Convention.
What's more, the program's goal to reduce food waste was a complete failure, with the report stating:
"In some cases, contractors selected by the Trump Administration for the Program—which was designed to reduce food waste—in fact contributed to food waste by failing to provide timely deliveries, by delivering food in unsafe packaging, and by pressuring recipient organizations to accept more food than they could reasonably distribute or store—often resulting in out-of-pocket costs for nonprofits."
Few were surprised at the botched implementation of the program.
That doesn't mean they were any less disgusted.