A San Antonio event and wedding planner with no food-distribution experience has been awarded a $39.1 million federal contract to buy, box and transport surplus food to needy families during the pandemic, the San Antonio Express News reports
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers to Families Food Box Program
aims to partner with produce, meat and dairy distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns, and channel their products to families in need.
San Antonio-based event planner CRE8AD8 LLC — pronounced “Create A Date” — won the pact without possessing the required government license to run a produce company, the Express-News reports.
No worries there, though: “It’s been applied for,” CRE8AD8 owner Gregorio Palomino told the paper.
Under the contract, CRE8AD8 is responsible for creating 750,000 food boxes with equal parts dairy, produce and protein. While Palomino told the daily he was “surprised” by the announcement, he added that his company can manage the undertaking.
“We knew that we easily could do this, because instead of putting tchotchkes in a bag that is going to go to a conference attendee, this is the same exact thing except it’s just food going into a box,” he said.
Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of the United Fresh Produce Association, told the Express-News
Palomino’s comparison “outrageous” and “ridiculous.”
CRE8AD8 listed the address for its “global headquarters” on its website as shopping center near Loop 1604 on the North Side.
“I don’t know them personally," Stenzel told the daily, "but I have my doubts about their capabilities.”
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