From Texas Public Radio:
Updated 5/29 to reflect CRE8AD8’s first shiptment to the San Antonio Food Bank.
San Antonio congressmen Joaquin Castro and Lloyd Doggett are asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to stop working with an area business.
A San Antonio-based wedding planner CRE8AD8 (Pronounced Create-a-date) was one of several companies awarded tens of millions of dollars by the USDA to help feed families in need.
The company is one of several criticized for being contracted despite having no experience in food distribution, and — according to people who have interacted with them — little understanding of food safety.
The “Farmers to Families Food Box” program was created by the USDA at lightning speed. It used a streamlined procurement process and was intended to expand the USDA’s vendor rolls. Several USDA leaders said in webinars it put the federal agency outside its comfort zone but, as USDA Associate Deputy Administrator Christopher Purdy described, the situation was desperate.
“Most of you are living and breathing the tough situation right now. Farmers dumping fresh produce and milk, euthanizing animals in some cases,” said Purdy in an April 29 Zoom call with interested providers.
At the same time, food banks across the country have been feeding unprecedented numbers of people. USDA officials said some were experiencing between 50% and 70% increases, while volunteers and contributions shrunk. So, the USDA — with a couple hundred contracts — tried to rewire the food distribution system to get them more food quickly.
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