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Waste of the Day: Massachusetts Pays Up To $31 Per Meal To Feed Migrants

May 24, 2024

Topline: Most hard-working Americans can’t afford to spend $21 to $31 on dinner every day. If they did, they’d likely expect to get steak or lobster for their money.

Yet that’s exactly how much the state of Massachusetts is spending to feed homeless migrants, according to CBS Boston. The state isn’t even getting its money's worth: the meals include spaghetti and hot dogs or rice with a single chicken drumstick.

Open the Books
Waste of the Day 5.20.24

Key facts: The $21 meals come from the Fairfield Inn Boston Dedham, where the state is paying $180 to house homeless families and migrants — even though advertisements show hotel rooms start at $129.

Lunch costs $16, but a family interviewed by CBS Boston said it contains “nothing edible,” such as soup with “just bones” in it.

Taxpayers will spend a total of $7.3 million to feed families at the Fairfield Inn.

It’s part of 17 state contracts worth $116 million that Massachusetts signed to provide free housing to migrants in hotels and motels through June, according to records obtained by CBS Boston. Nine of those, including the Fairfield Inn, are for hotels owned by Giri Hotel Management, which will make $46 million from taxpayers.

When the state hired its own catering companies for migrants instead of relying on hotels, it still overspent. Massachusetts signed a $10 million contract with Spinelli Ravioli Manufacturing Company through a no-bid process that did not ask other vendors to provide cheaper food.

The state told CBS Boston that the ravioli contract, which ended in March, was justified by the “unprecedented increased demand” for food.

Background: In addition to the hotel expenses, Massachusetts spends about $75 million every month on 7,500 migrant families living in state-run emergency shelters.

Gov. Maura Healey signed a supplemental budget in March that spends $840 million over the next two years for the migrant crisis.

That still wasn’t enough. The federal government agreed in April to help Massachusetts by using Medicaid funds, which Axios Boston says could cost $647.5 million over the next four years.

Critical quote: State Sen. Peter Durant told CBS Boston of the hotel contracts, "This is something that we have been asking the administration for information on, for the better part of a year and have been stonewalled on the information.”

Summary: Something is amiss when taxpayers are spending more to feed those in emergency housing than to feed their own children.

The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.
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