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Sen. Peters calls on National Guard to terminate food contract, provide per diem for MI soldiers

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Posted at 9:53 AM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 15:11:44-05

(WXYZ) — Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan, is calling on the chief of the National Guard to terminate the contract with the company providing food to Michigan National Guard members in Washington D.C. and provide soldiers with a per diem.

Related: Whistleblower reveals poor food quality making Michigan National Guard members sick

The letter to the acting secretary of the Army and National Guard Chief Gen. Daniel Hokanson comes after a 7 Action News report about the poor food being fed to soldiers from Michigan.

Peters, who is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said it is "unacceptable that these men and women are being fed chicken with feathers still attached and raw ground beef."

A staff sergeant with the Michigan National Guard, whose identity 7 Action News is protecting, says the problem is not isolated.

“Yesterday, for instance, there were 74 different meals found with raw beef in them,” the sergeant said. "Just yesterday, the lunches were, soldiers had found metal shavings in their food.”

The food concerns going beyond quality – quantity is an issue as well. Breakfast is an example.

After undercooked food made more than a dozen soldiers sick, while some went to the hospital – the concern the staff sergeant says went up the chain of command, then there was a noticeable change on the boxes being delivered.

In a press conference Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said that 1,000 Michigan National Guard members were deployed to Washington D.C. after a call from Capitol Police.

Whitmer said she had mate it very clear that guards would have appropriate hotel accommodations and per diem for adequate meals.

She said when the reports of food concerns came to her, she called Jon Whitley, the acting Secretary of the Army, and was told that per her understanding, the quality of food has "dramatically improved," although the actions are not excusable, she said.

The deployment is scheduled to come to a close on March 12. Whitmer said she will not agree to an extension of the deployment.

"After several attempts to rectify the situation and little progress, I believe that the only appropriate course of action is for the immediate cancellation of the existing food contract, the disbursement of per diem for the remaining duration of the mission and to provide retroactive per diem," Peters wrote.

You can read his whole letter below.
Sen. Peters calls on National Guard to terminate food contract by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd