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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Congressman Demands USDA End Controversial $39M Contract With San Antonio Event Planner

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2020 at 4:44 PM

click to enlarge U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is asking USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue (right) to explain how his agency selects vendors for contracts. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / WHITE HOUSE
  • Wikimedia Commons / White House
  • U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is asking USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue (right) to explain how his agency selects vendors for contracts.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett called on the White House on Tuesday to cancel a $39 million federal food-distribution contract awarded to a small San Antonio events company with no previous track record in that business.

In a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture chief Sonny Perdue, Doggett, a San Antonio Democrat, said the terms of locally based CRE8AD8's contract require it to deliver 750,000 packages of food to needy families by June 30. However, "to date it has apparently failed to distribute a single box."

The USDA oversees the Farmers to Families Food Box program, designed to distribute surplus produce to needy families. In his letter, Doggett demanded Perdue, a former Republican governor of Georgia, provide a detailed explanation of how his agency selects vendors.

The letter comes on the heels of a San Antonio Express-News investigation that revealed CRE8AD8 didn't have the required federal license to pursue the federal distribution work and had made dubious claims about its list of clients and certifications.

“We need to tear the lid off the Trump Administration’s inexplicably wrongheaded Families Food Box contracts — awarded under the highest stakes to some firms almost sure to fail to meet hungry families’ needs on time,” Doggett said in a statement. “San Antonio families cannot eat an IOU. USDA needs to cancel CRE8AD8’s contract and we need a full accounting of how the administration so direly mishandled a necessary and widely-supported program, to the detriment of the most vulnerable.”

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