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Report: NYC overbilled by over $9M for emergency food services during pandemic

Driscoll Foods provided fresh food and produce for food insecure New Yorkers. 

Ashley Mastronardi

May 17, 2024, 10:57 PM

Updated 36 days ago

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A food distribution company has been accused of overbilling the city by more than $9 million for services during the pandemic.  
Driscoll Foods provided fresh food and produce for food insecure New Yorkers. 
An audit by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander claims that they overbilled the city by $9.39 million for their own profit - and for things like food warehousing. 
Lander also says they spent $3.4 million on additional staffing costs. 
The Department of Social Services oversaw the contract and denied more than $2 million of the $9 million chunk. Lander says Driscoll should pay back the city the remaining $7 million.   
“Two million dollars they were supposed to spend on food, they just took to their profits.  And another more than $1 million that they billed for the rent on a space that they owned.  So there’s no rent for it. So yes, the $7 million that Driscoll owes the city, that’s money they were supposed to spend on food items and instead, they collected for themselves,” Lander told News 12 New York. 
Driscoll Foods told News 12 in part in a statement, “...We disagree with the Comptroller’s findings regarding a contract we fulfilled during COVID. We were contracted to provide a quantity of meals to NYC residents in need of assistance during that time. We exceeded that number of meals to meet the dramatic need caused by COVID. We shared that information with the City on an ongoing basis.” 
DSS told News 12 they have robust procedures for reviewing invoices, but faced staffing shortages and focused their resources on rapid delivery of food during that time. 


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