Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) joined Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and five House Republicans, sent a letter to Minnesota Commissioner of Education Willie Jett requesting details on the Department’s role in the “largest COVID-19 fraud scheme in the nation.” The letter comes after the U.S. Attorney charged 70 individuals associated with Feeding Our Future for its alleged role in defrauding the United States Department of Agriculture of over $250 million in taxpayer funds—money intended to feed hungry children.

In the letter, the members write: “On April 24, 2024, the first trial began for seven defendants associated with the Minnesota-based nonprofit Feeding Our Future (FOF) for their part in defrauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Federal Child Nutrition Program (FCNP) of over $250 million in taxpayer money. As of today, the U.S. Attorney has charged 70 individuals with federal crimes for benefiting personally from an illegal scheme that diverted $250 million of FCNP funds away from feeding hungry children.”
The members continue: “We write today to request additional information as we continue our oversight of the USDA’s and the Minnesota Department of Education’s (MDE) administration of the FCNP and oversight of FOF. Your January 5, 2024, document production to Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor has led to additional inquiries regarding the USDA’s and the MDE’s involvement in the ‘largest COVID-19 fraud scheme in the nation.’” 
The members conclude by requesting additional information, including: 

  • Emails, texts, and other communications between the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and organizations the Committee believes may have information that will assist its ongoing investigation. These include communications among and between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of the Governor of Minnesota.
  • Documents provided by the MDE to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Internal MDE emails, texts, and other communications and documents.
  • Documentation related to sponsoring organizations and food distribution sites.

The letter is co-signed by Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY), Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Nutrition, Foreign Agriculture, and Horticulture Subcommittee Chairman Brad Finstad (R-MN), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), and Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN). 
To read the full letter, click here