Report: Contractor in NYC Discarding Thousands of Taxpayer-Funded Meals Daily

Mocobizscene-According to company records, a contractor, who is receiving millions of dollars from New York City to oversee migrant services is discarding tens of thousands of uneaten meals meant for migrants. Shockingly, this includes a staggering 5,000 meals being thrown away daily.

According to the New York Times, DocGo, a company that received a $432 million no-bid contract from Mayor Adams’ administration, is responsible for relocating migrants upstate. They are paid up to $33 daily to provide three meals per person for the 4,000 asylum seekers under their care.

According to internal records obtained by the outlet, a large portion of those meals is being discarded, with over 70,000 meals being wasted between October 22 and November 22.

According to the records, over 5,000 meals intended for asylum seekers were discarded on November 6. DocGo, which started as a COVID testing service and transitioned into a migrant shelter provider, charges the city a maximum of $11 per meal as stipulated in their contract. During those 20 days, taxpayers would have had to spend approximately $776,000, equivalent to $39,000 per day, on wasted food.

A migrant hotel in Western New York recently reported that they wasted 24 Chicken Alfredo and 24 Spaghetti Chicken Dinner meals one night. Similarly, the Brooklyn Vybe Hotel’s shift report indicated that 184 lunch meals were thrown out on October 31.

According to the records, 110 dinners were thrown away on November 12th at the Holiday Inn in Albany.

A spokesperson from DocGo refuted the data presented by the NYT, stating that it was “not accurate.” However, no further details or clarifications were provided. According to the spokesperson, the current meal consumption for migrants stands at 93%.

According to a statement obtained by The Post, the spokesperson confirmed that DocGo has been fulfilling its contractual obligations by ordering a maximum of three meals per day for each asylum seeker.

DocGo constantly monitors food consumption and actively seeks out opportunities to save money on behalf of NYC. Currently, meal consumption stands at 93%.

The City receives the cost of all meals without additional charges, as there is no markup. Furthermore, most meals are sourced from nonprofits, minority- and woman-owned caterers, and other small businesses.

According to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the average cost per meal under the DocGo contract has been reduced to $7.82.

Details about the wasted food came to light just as Mayor Adams faced criticism for implementing extensive budget cuts across all city agencies. These cuts attempt to address the financial strain caused by the billion-dollar migrant crisis currently affecting the city.

According to Gale Brewer, the chair of the Council’s investigation committee, expensive meals are not a reliable indicator of success. Brewer suggests that if a person consistently provides expensive meals and gets paid for them, it may either mean that the meals are not appealing to the customers’ taste or that the person is buying more food than necessary.

“The councilwoman expressed concern about an ongoing issue and the excessive waste involved. She has consistently urged the administration to reconsider or terminate the DocGo contract,” said the councilwoman, who has been vocal about her stance.

“I don’t understand how we can have a budget that cuts funding for non-profit organizations that provide essential human services,” exclaimed the speaker.

Councilwoman Julie Won also criticized the excessive waste of food and its high costs.

According to Won, the chair of the contracts committee, there is a concerning issue regarding the government’s spending of $463 million on food during a fiscal crisis. The problem is that there is no proper account of how much of that food is being consumed or if it is rotten.

“DocGo’s food waste clearly indicates a much bigger problem with the Mayoral Administration. The lack of proper oversight, accountability, quality assurance, and transparency in managing these food contracts is alarming and must be addressed immediately.”

According to The Post, some migrants staying at the Roosevelt Hotel intake center have admitted to frequently discarding their meals due to perceived poor quality or being served cold.

A 26-year-old from Venezuela expressed dissatisfaction with the food, stating, “The food is bad. I wouldn’t say I like it. I wouldn’t say I like how they prepare it. It’s cold by the time they bring it to you.” He added, “I prefer to purchase my own food and prepare it myself.”

“The weather here is quite chilly, not hot at all,” expressed a migrant father from Ecuador.

DocGo, responsible for providing housing, food, medical care, and security for migrants, has faced significant controversy following its acquisition of the $432 million contract from the city.

After receiving numerous complaints, New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Gov. Kathy Hochul have initiated investigations into the medical services company. These complaints allege that migrants were being deceived or mistreated by the company during their transportation upstate.

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