Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Dispute between Feeding Our Future and Minneapolis site alleges a system of kickbacks, inflated meals


September 22, 2022

Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

Hanna Marekegn, owner of Brava Cafe, at her warehouse in February. She worked with Feeding Our Future before the nonprofit terminated her contract. She says it's because she declined to provide a kickback.

Tears welled in Hanna Marekegn's eyes as she said her catering business had crumbled financially because she refused to give a $150,000 kickback to Feeding Our Future, the nonprofit that she said demanded the money in return for facilitating federal reimbursements for feeding needy children.

"I got terminated because I was asked to give a kickback and I refused to give the kickback," Marekegn said in a February interview with the Star Tribune, adding that she couldn't document it because it was a verbal request.

Marekegn, who owns Brava Cafe in Minneapolis, said a Feeding Our Future employee asked her for the kickback to "just do like everyone else is doing." But when she refused, the St. Anthony nonprofit's leader, Aimee Bock, then accused her of fraud and overbilling and stopped working with her.


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