‘The National Guard Bureau must end its contract with this incompetent caterer’
LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday adopted a resolution introduced by state Sen. Tom Barrett, calling on the federal government to provide safe, quality meals to members of the Michigan National Guard deployed to Washington, D.C.
“The National Guard Bureau must immediately provide safe and adequate food to Michigan troops in D.C.,” declared Barrett, R-Charlotte. “In spite of bipartisan agreement and attention on the issue, the caterer contracted by the bureau has continued to serve undercooked and otherwise ill-prepared meals that have led to instances of food poisoning. The contract with this incompetent and dangerous caterer must be ended at once.
“I have heard from many deployed fellow guardsmen, and each of them has reiterated the poor and unsafe quality of what they have been fed. Our dedicated servicemen and servicewomen are stationed in the capital city of the greatest country in the world, to protect officials at the highest levels of government, but that government has failed to provide our troops with the most basic necessity of a healthy meal.”
Senate Resolution 21 calls on the National Guard Bureau to end the food contract for guard members currently deployed to Washington. Instead, the resolution urges the bureau to provide them with a per diem food allowance, backdated to the beginning of the mobilization.
The Michigan National Guard has contributed guardsmen to protect the U.S. Capitol since January, and about 1,000 Michigan troops are currently deployed. The deployment is scheduled to continue until March 12.
Despite pledges to improve the quality of the food provided to the guardsmen, the National Guard Bureau has maintained a contract with the caterer, which continues to serve bad meals to guard members from multiple states. The National Guard Bureau is housed within the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Senate passed SR 21 by voice vote. The resolution was sponsored by Barrett and co-sponsored by 32 other senators.
Other state and federal officials from Michigan have also drawn attention to the urgent issue of feeding the guard appropriately, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan congressional delegation.
Barrett serves as majority vice chair of the Committee on Families, Seniors, and Veterans and as chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military and Veterans Affairs/State Police.