New York City throwing away over $1M taxpayer-funded meals for migrants every month
12/29/2023 // Zoey Sky // Views

Company records have revealed that New York City is paying millions of dollars a month for meals that are meant to feed migrants. However, thousands of these meals are never eaten and thrown away, according to the internal company records reviewed by the New York Times (NYT).

The meals are provided by DocGo, a medical services company that won a no-bid, $432 million contract from NYC to provide broad migrant care, even though it doesn't have prior experience in doing so.

More than 70,000 meals were "wasted" according to records

DocGo receives as much as $33 a day per migrant for providing three meals a day for each of the estimated 4,000 migrants under its care.

According to internal company records, from Oct. 22 to Nov. 10, DocGo recorded more than 70,000 meals as being "wasted." At $11 per meal, the maximum rate allowed by the contract, the wasted food for those 20 days would cost taxpayers about $776,000, or at least $39,000 a day.

At that rate, the bill for the wasted food would exceed $1 million a month.

Meanwhile, NYC Mayor Eric Adams is making billions of dollars in budget cuts to help pay for the city's spending on migrant care. (Related: Picky guests: Illegals REFUSE accommodation in tent city, return to Manhattan HOTELS they were formerly housed in.)

Food waste is the latest issue that has been linked to DocGo's care of migrants. This summer, the state attorney general started investigating the company over allegations that it had mistreated migrants, aside from other issues.

According to a spokesman for New York's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which oversees the $432 million DocGo contract, the company recently started ordering fewer meals to reduce waste as part of the agency's effort to slash $66 million from the program by the end of 2024.

City officials have reported that DocGo lowered its average per-meal price to $7.82. At the rate of wasted meals reflected in the DocGo documents, that would amount to at least $28,000 in wasted food each day, or about $800,000 a month.

Brewer added that the food waste is "very expensive for the taxpayer," adding that it doesn't make sense to have budget cuts when DocGo is also wasting food.

However, DocGo officials have not been accused of wrongdoing. Additionally, there is no suggestion that the company is intentionally overbilling the city for uneaten meals.

According to the company's contract, food costs must be treated as a so-called "pass-through expense to the city with no profit going to the company."

Some claim food waste might be unavoidable because many migrants are not around when meals are served, especially during the day when they might be working or looking for work, while some might prefer cooking for themselves in their hotel rooms.

However, the underlying problem seems to be the food itself. Despite the food being provided for free, some migrants have claimed that they got sick after eating the meals.

Others reported quality issues such as mold in their food.

DocGo officials are aware of these common issues about food quality, but any attempts to address them seem ineffective. For example, on a single day, Nov. 6, more than 5,000 meals were discarded, according to the records.

DocGo claims data about food waste is "inaccurate "

Company officials have tried to downplay the complaints, claiming that reporters had focused on a handful of unhappy "guests," the term DocGo uses for migrants under its care, and are ignoring an otherwise good track record according to internal company surveys.

City officials and DocGo did not challenge the authenticity of the company’s internal documents tracking the food waste that the NYT obtained. However, they insisted, without offering evidence, that 93 percent of the food that DocGo serves to migrants is being eaten.

Rob Ford, a DocGo spokesman, said the data from the NYT is "taken out of context and is not accurate." He added that DocGo frequently monitors food consumption and "works to proactively identify opportunities for savings on behalf of NYC"

Despite these claims, DocGo’s internal database that covers its hotels in and around New York City, the Hudson Valley, the state capital region and Western New York, had specific accounts of how thousands of uneaten meals were being thrown away.

Meanwhile, another report stated that it was a "normal night" on Nov. 12 when 110 dinner meals, at one hotel with a reported total population of about 230, were thrown away at the Holiday Inn in downtown Albany.

A DocGo supervisor at the Brooklyn Vybe Hotel, which records show is home to an estimated 200 migrants, wrote in an Oct. 31 shift report that 184 meals were wasted during lunch.

Yet the supervisor checked the "Yes" box when answering whether the migrants enjoyed the food. This is a common response from supervisors despite evidence to the contrary, including their written observations.

At the Red Roof Plus in suburban Buffalo, one DocGo supervisor wrote in her notes for an Oct. 24 shift report that the migrants "dislike the food strongly." The supervisor added that the migrants were angry, with some saying that the food was moldy and that it made them sick.

But the Red Roof Plus supervisor still checked the "Yes" box on whether the migrants enjoyed the food.

The "Yes" box was also marked by a supervisor at a Quality Inn in Buffalo. She also wrote that 74 meals were thrown away, including 20 breakfast sandwiches, 26 beef enchiladas and eight veggie trays.

This past summer, investigators visited the Ramada Plaza in Albany, where migrants living there complained about their treatment and the food. Some of the migrants then followed up with more complaints and evidence that food was being wasted.

According to two former DocGo subcontractors, they saw uneaten meals regularly being disposed of at hotels in Albany.

Rodney, 38, a migrant from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, claimed that the first day he ate the food provided he had to be taken to the hospital. While giving his statement, Rodney was wearing a special belt around his stomach that allegedly helped him cope with the horrible gas the food gave him.

One Venezuelan migrant filmed what he claimed were boxes of food being thrown into the dumpster at the Ramada, where records reveal that at least 180 migrants have been staying for several months. In the video, he said that the food was being thrown out because nobody eats it and that the food "is pure trash."

NYT investigators have identified the migrants by only their given names, or have allowed them to comment anonymously, due to concerns that disclosing their full names could jeopardize their status or cause them harm.

Watch the video below to learn more about Chinese migrants coming to the U.S. from Columbia.

This video is from the Real Deal Media channel on

More related stories:

Food tyranny: NYC to monitor household food consumption as biotech companies take over food production.

NYC Mayor Adams: MIGRANTS from Venezuela feeding Big Apple's new RED-LIGHT DISTRICT.

Top 7 ways most Americans WASTE money.

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