Farmers to Families? An Investigation into the Trump Administration's Food Box Program [open pdf - 5MB]
From the Executive Summary: "This staff report presents findings from an investigation conducted by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis into how the Trump Administration, through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), administered the Farmers to Families Food Box Program (Food Box Program or Program) in 2020. The Select Subcommittee launched an investigation into the Program in August 2020 following reports that the Trump Administration, under then-Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, had mismanaged the program, resulting in large awards to contractors with questionable experience. [...] The Select Subcommittee's investigation focused on three distributors awarded large first-round contracts that had been the subject of multiple press reports questioning their fitness for the program. While none of the three contractors reviewed in the Select Subcommittee's investigation were renewed for the second round of the Program, the Trump Administration failed to enact certain critical improvements to the Program until its third round. Even after these improvements were implemented, the Program suffered from significant problems, such as poor-quality box contents, food safety issues, failed deliveries, and uneven distribution that excluded many suffering communities. After undertaking a review of the Food Box Program, the Biden Administration ended the Program on May 31, 2021. In the future, USDA must incorporate lessons learned from this Program to ensure the safety of recipients, limit risks of waste, fraud, and abuse, and ensure the effective, efficient, and equitable use of funds. The Select Subcommittee recommends that, when designing and implementing future food distribution programs, USDA take more care in evaluating contractors, issue and enforce guidance on eligible partner organizations and emergency pricing, and take other appropriate steps to maximize support for hungry Americans while minimizing food waste and abuse of food distribution programs."
U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis: https://coronavirus.house.gov/