Tens of thousands of uneaten taxpayer-funded migrant meals being ‘trashed’ in NYC: report

A contractor tasked by the administration of New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams with handling migrant services is reportedly throwing away tens of thousands of uneaten meals, company records reveal.

In one day, as many New Yorkers go hungry, DocGo tossed 5,000 uneaten meals in the bin, the New York Post reports.

DocGo “was awarded a hefty $432 million no-bid contract by Mayor Adams’ administration to help relocate some migrants upstate,” according to The Post, and receives “up to $33 per day to provide three meals for each of the 4,000 asylum seekers in its care” according to a report in the New York Times.

“A significant number of those meals, however, are being trashed — with more than 70,000 being ‘wasted’ between October 22 and November 22, according to the internal records obtained by the outlet,” The Post continues. “More than 5,000 meals for asylum seekers were thrown out on November 6 alone, the records show.”

Once a COVID testing firm, the controversial contractor charges the Big Apple $11 dollars per meal — the maximum it can charge under its contract.

“Based on that figure, the cost of the discarded food over that 20-day stretch would have set taxpayers back roughly $776,000 — or $39,000 a day,” The Post reports.

Among the trashed meals were 24 chicken Alfredos and 24 spaghetti chicken dinners in one night; at least 110 dinners at Albany’s Holiday Inn on November 12; and 184 lunches on Halloween at the Brooklyn Vybe Hotel.

Meanwhile, as BizPac Review reported, some New Yorkers in need were unable to get a Thanksgiving dinner this year because hundreds of illegal migrants in a Queens neighborhood beat residents of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to the head of the local food bank line.

A spokesperson for DocGo said The Times’ data was “not accurate,” but didn’t elaborate. Meal consumption for migrants, the spokesperson said, is currently at 93%.

This, The Post notes, “despite the internal logs.”

“DocGo has continued to deliver on its contractual obligations and has ordered no more than 3 meals daily for each asylum seeker,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“DocGo continually monitors food consumption and works to proactively identify opportunities for savings on behalf of NYC. Meal consumption currently sits at 93%,” the statement continued. “The cost of all meals is passed through directly to the City without any markup, and the majority of the meals are procured through nonprofits, minority- and woman-owned caterers, and other small businesses.”

NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development overseas DocGo’s contract and claimed the average-per-meal price had recently dropped to $7.82.

Gale Brewer is the chair of the Council’s investigation committee. She has repeatedly called on Adams’ administration to either cancel or scale back DocGo’s contract.

“They’re the most expensive meals and if you are providing expensive meals, getting paid for them, either you’re not providing meals they want to eat or you’re overbuying,” Brewer told The Post. “Something’s going on and the waste is outrageous.”

As a result of the billion-dollar migrant crisis, Adams is making widespread budget cuts to all city agencies.

“I’ve got all these non-profits that do human services being cut in the budget,” Brewer said. “I don’t understand how we have a ledger like that.”

Councilwoman Julie Won, chair of the contracts committee, slammed the waste.

“They’re spending $463 million on food during a fiscal crisis and they can’t account for how much of that is actually being consumed or how much of that food is rotten,” she said. “DocGo’s food waste is symptomatic of a larger systemic failure on the part of Mayoral Admin. The complete absence of oversight, accountability, quality assurance, and transparency in administering these food contracts is shocking and must be addressed immediately.”

Melissa Fine

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