Agriculture Department stands by decision to award emergency food aid contract to Farm Share – Florida Politics

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After consider, the Division of Agriculture and Shopper Providers is sticking by its choice to award Farm Share a contract for The Emergency Meals Assist Program (TEFAP).

Feeding South Florida filed a written protest earlier this yr difficult That choice, arguing Farm Share misrepresented its capability to stay As a lot As a Outcome of the deal By way of the RFP bidding course of. After pressuring the Agriculture Division, the agency — led by Commissioner Nikki Fried, a 2022 Democratic gubernatorial candidate — agreed to consider its choice. That consider has now wrapped, with Fried’s agency sticking with its unique choice.

“Farm Share has been, and On A daily basis Shall be, dedicated to offering free, life-sustaining food to Floridians dealing with food insecurity,” Farm Share CEO Stephen Shelley said in response to The final choice.

“We’re grateful that the Division of Agriculture and Shopper Providers has afagencyed its choice to award Farm Share a quantity of areaal contracts To administer The Emergency Meals Assist Program, collectively with in Broward County. Following A radical evaluation course of by 5 impartial and educated specialists, the department’s scoring of purposes appropriately concluded that Farm Share is Definitely one of the biggest food financial institution To administer This method Inside the awarded areas and correctly decided that Farm Share hAs a Outcome of the expertise, assets, and expertise To take movement effectively.”

The selection might have political fallout Inside the area. Feeding South Florida has vital political help Inside the area. In April, Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich informed Florida Politics she joined Feeding South Florida to push for a consider.

“It seems that evidently (Feeding South Florida) did reply questions and included information, for which They Did not acquire credit rating,” Rich said. “My primary objective right here is To make sure that We now have a contract with An group Which will biggest meet the wants of Broward County. And to my Thoughts-set, Which Could Even be Feeding South Florida.”

Fried’s agency disagreed. That would ruffle feathers amongst some South Florida Democrats as Fried seeks that celebration’s 2022 nomination Inside the Governor’s race.

Shelley says his group is Greater than In a place to take over the contract.

“With this final decision, Farm Share can now transfer forward with preparations To start serving the food-insecure people Inside the awarded areas when our contracts start in October,” Shelley said.

“Farm Share will proceed To Think about our mission that no particular person goes hungry and no food goes to waste And seems forward to collaboratively working with the Florida Division of Agriculture and Shopper Providers to feed food-insecure Floridians.”


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