Speed Reads

that's not good

FEMA hired a one-person company to send 30 million meals to Puerto Rico. Instead, it got 'a logistical nightmare.'

After Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, many islanders did not have access to food. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency's attempts to swiftly feed them didn't exactly go off without a hitch.

In one unsettlingly illustrative example, which The New York Times detailed on Tuesday, FEMA hired Tribute Contracting LLC in October, two weeks after the hurricane, to deliver 30 million meals to Puerto Rico. A little more than two weeks later, Tribute, which was set to earn $156 million for its work, had only made good on delivering 50,000 meals.

Tribute has just one employee — owner Tiffany Brown — who actually subcontracted a wedding caterer to prepare the meals. Her subcontractor didn't prepare enough meals as swiftly as FEMA wanted, and didn't package the food in "self-heating" bags, as Uncle Sam required, causing FEMA to cancel the contract, calling it "a logistical nightmare."

Brown, who likens herself to a "broker" of sorts, disputes FEMA's account and is demanding a $70 million settlement. Her subcontractors, meanwhile, are reportedly threatening to sue her too.

The whole thing sounds like a real mess. But the Times report is, unfortunately, just one of several stories that have emerged about the government and FEMA's failure to adequately provide emergency supplies to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the hurricane. Read more at The New York Times.