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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Joaquin Castro Asks USDA to Look Into How San Antonio Events Firm Landed $39M Federal Deal

Posted By on Wed, May 27, 2020 at 9:33 AM

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro - SCREEN CAPTURE / C-SPAN
  • Screen Capture / C-SPAN
  • U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro
A second Texas congressman has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to review the controversial $39 million contract issued to San Antonio-based events company CRE8AD8 to distribute food to needy families.

Joining U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who asked that the company be stripped of its federal pact, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro is demanding that the agency probe how contracts were awarded under its Farmers to Families Food Box Program, designed to feed families financially harmed by the pandemic.



Both congressmen are Democrats representing San Antonio.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Castro questioned why food-distribution novice CRE8AD8 was award a contract ahead of experienced companies with years of industry experience.

"At a time when millions of Americans are struggling to put food on the table, USDA is wrong to bet the success of vital food safety net programs on neophyte food distribution companies," Castro wrote. "Food banks, nonprofits, and needy families should not have to hope and wait to see if a distributor can deliver as promised."

A recent Express-News investigation revealed that CRE8AD8, beyond its lack of food-distribution credentials, touted work for clients who claim never to have done business with the company.

CRE8AD8 has until June 30 to distribute 750,000 boxes of food to needy families but has yet to distribute a single box, according to Doggett's letter to the USDA. The USDA selected the event planner over experienced San Antonio wholesalers, including River City Produce and Big State Produce, the daily also reports.

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