First Arrest Occurs in ‘Feeding Our Future’ Food Scam

Federal authorities nabbed a man allegedly trying to flee the country after helping steal millions of dollars meant for child hunger programs.

Court documents say Mohamed Jama Ismail, 49, tried to flee the country after authorities revoked his passport in January after authorities raided more than 24 properties and seized more than $6 million from a business he co-founded named Empire Cuisine.

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Minnesota Nonprofit to Dissolve Following FBI Raid

A Minnesota nonprofit that was raided by the FBI last month announced Friday that it is dissolving, blaming “negative media reports.”

The FBI raided over a dozen properties connected to Feeding our Future Jan. 20. An FBI search warrant accused the “conspirators” of stealing “millions of dollars in federal funds” from child nutrition programs, but the nonprofit has denied any wrongdoing and nobody has been charged with a crime to date.

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The Minnesota Department of Education Was Battling Two Nonprofits for Years Before the Alleged Free Food Scandal Broke

The Jan. 20 FBI raids on Feeding Our Future was just the latest escalation in a war between the state agency and two networks of nonprofits operating food giveaways to low-income children. The state Department of Education (MDE) has been battling Feeding Our Future and the related nonprofit Partners in Nutrition (aka Partners in Quality Care) in and out of court going back at least as far as 2017.

MDE oversees locally two federal government free-food programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Those two programs are meant to supplement the better-known school lunch program and provide meals to children at times they are not in class — after school and during summers, respectively.

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