New York City is spending tens of thousands of dollars on meals for illegal migrants that end up in the trash.
About 70,000 meals that cost $11 each were marked “wasted” in less than three weeks recently by DocGo, a medical services company tapped by the city to provide migrant care, according to internal company documents reported by The New York Times.
The meals, meant to be eaten by about 4,000 migrants in DocGo’s care, were tossed between October 22 to November 10, records show.
The city pays DocGo up to $33 a day per migrant for three meals a day. This means that the wasted food cost as much as $776,000 or about $39,000 a day in taxpayer dollars.
At that level of waste, the price tag would top $1 million a month.
As the migrant crisis ramped up, the city awarded DocGo a no-bid $432 million contract to provide migrant care, even though the company had no experience in this area. The city previously hired DocGo during the pandemic to provide COVID testing and vaccinations.
DocGo is now ordering fewer meals to try to reduce the amount of waste, a spokesman for the city agency that oversees the contract told the Times. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development said it is trying to cut $66 million from the program by the end of the year.
The average price of the meals has also been lowered to $7.82.
With the same waste rate, those cuts would reduce the wasted taxpayer dollars to about $28,000 a day or $800,000 a month, the Times calculated.
Meanwhile, Mayor Eric Adams has announced billions of dollars in budget cuts due to the migrant crisis that will affect the NYPD, public schools, and sanitation, among other sectors.
“I respect how New Yorkers are feeling. I respect their anger. I respect what they are feeling right now in this moment because many of them are struggling,” Adams said this week in response to the negative reaction from New Yorkers over the budget cuts.
“I don’t have deportation powers. I don’t have the power to turn buses around,” the mayor added.
New York City is a sanctuary city, or a city that often refuses to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to prevent illegal migrants from deportation.
However, Adams has hinted at cooperating with immigration authorities on some level as the city struggles to metabolize tens of thousands of new illegal migrants.
Since last year, more than 130,000 migrants have arrived, many of whom are still being housed on the city’s dime, causing New York City’s homeless shelters to reach their limits and forcing the city to open new facilities.