Bill Glahn from the Center of the American Experiment shed more light on the alleged Feeding Our Future scandal in a recent interview with Alpha News.
Glahn has done extensive research on Twin Cities nonprofit Feeding Our Future, which is currently at the center of a federal investigation. It is accused of defrauding two government programs — the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program — of millions of dollars and using the funds to purchase “real estate, cars, and other luxury items.”
At the state level, these two programs are administered by the Minnesota Department of Education.
In the interview, Glahn shared what he knows about two additional nonprofits that have flown under the radar. He said Partners in Nutrition was also suspended from participating in the federal nutrition programs and recently appealed that decision, while Youth Leadership Academy was shut down a month before the FBI raided the offices of Feeding Our Future.
Glahn noted that both Feeding Our Future and Partners in Nutrition were “started by the same individuals and had the same mission.”
“They were going to act and did act as go-betweens between the state Department of Education and local nonprofits who ran food distribution sites under two federal programs,” he said.
Glahn said FBI search warrants cite “some $48 million that the FBI believes was stolen from the program.”
“It’s clear from the FBI search warrants that they’re not listing everything they think was wrong with the program,” he said.
“Some of the entities that were accused in the FBI search warrants of stealing money from these programs had sites that were sponsored by both Feeding Our Future and Partners in Nutrition,” he added.
He also explained that the Department of Education hasn’t provided any details on how it plans to prevent further fraud in the summer months.
“It’s concerning because we’re about to come to another summer season here under the Summer Food Service Program,” he said. “They’ve already approved 2,000 food distribution sites across the state and it’s not clear what additional scrutiny those sites received to be approved in the next year as planned.”
MDE says it attempted to stop payments to Feeding Our Future but was prevented from doing so by a judge in April 2021.
“I get it at one level they flagged this and turned information over to the FBI which led to the raids in January, but they also took another year to shut them off for good, so it’s a little bit of a mixed review on their performance,” Glahn said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office told Alpha News it could not comment on whether there will be a grand jury for the case. Glahn said there have been reports that a grand jury has been meeting since early February.
“I’ve had a number of the Somali community contact me and they’re very upset about it because it reflects poorly on their community. They know a lot of these individuals,” Glahn said. “They’re concerned about fraud and they’re taxpayers themselves.”