Business

Why one business received $3M from Sac Co, while others struggled to make ends meet

Sacramento County’s Dine at Home pandemic program ran for nearly a year and was designed to feed homebound seniors, all while supporting local businesses.The county used federal CARES Act money — which totaled $7.7 million — and split it up among 15 restaurants. Although 31 businesses had applied for Dine at Home, Sacramento County officials said that only one email was sent to nearly 2,000 businesses, some of which included places like KFC and McDonald’s — much to the shock of Sacramento area community leaders. KCRA 3 Investigates found that one of the 15 restaurants chosen received millions, while thousands of other businesses in Sacramento County were struggling to make ends meet all year. KCRA 3’s Brandi Cummings sat down with a Sacramento County representative to shed light on the discrepancy and spoke with business owners impacted by the program.HOW ONE BUSINESS FOUND OUT ABOUT THE PROGRAM”We lost all our business. All of our business at that time was catering,” Kim Scott, owner of Poppy by Mama Kim, told KCRA 3.Although she says it was already in the works, Scott opened a new restaurant in 2021, not long after the Dine at Home program ended.”It really was a lifesaver for me to keep all of my kitchen staff employed and keep the business going,” she said.According to data from the county, Mama Kim Cooks delivered 16,518 meals to 51 clients during the program.Her business got $412,950 for the deliveries.Scott told Cummings during an interview that her catering company wasn’t on the list to get that email about the program, but she found out about it anyway. She applied and was accepted.”We did two meals a day for seven days,” she said.KCRA asked the county why Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen got more than $3.3 million alone.”Drewski’s delivered far more meals than other restaurants and thus the amount paid to them is high. There are several contributing factors for this. Drewski’s was willing to deliver anywhere within the unincorporated county (some clients live in more remote areas and were not in the delivery radius of the other restaurants), they offered vegetarian and diabetic specific meals, some clients simply preferred the Drewski option best,” a county spokeswoman said in a statement.SACRAMENTO COUNTY RESTAURANT APPLIES, BUT IS REJECTED”When we first found out, we wanted to protect ourselves as well. So we shut down for a month,” the owner of Louisiana Heaven, Lashaunda Cormier, said about what she did at the start of the pandemic.Cormier reset and reopened, but she’s still working hard to make ends meet.She told KCRA 3 that her business wasn’t on the list from the county to be notified about the Dine at Home program, but she found out about it and applied.”I jumped over hoops. I did everything they asked for. I did over and beyond what they called for,” Cormier explained. “I did pictures of my food, they were able to go to my website.”Her business wasn’t selected to participate.HOW THE COUNTY PROGRAM COMPARED TO THE CITY OF SACRAMENTO PROGRAMKCRA 3 compared the county-run program to the city of Sacramento’s home food delivery program.The city had $18 million — double the amount of money than the county — for its Great Plates program. It served nearly the same number of seniors as the county.However, the city of Sacramento nearly quadrupled the number of businesses that were allowed to participate, with 15 participating in the county, and 52 in the city. NAACP’S ‘DINE IN TWO’ PROGRAMKCRA 3’s investigation prompted the NAACP to partner with Sacramento County to create another program called “Dine In Two.”The organization received more than $2 million from the county for that program.Small, local and minority-owned businesses will receive $69 per meal kit, which includes delivering three meals a day.The NAACP is still in the process of selecting restaurants to participate.

Sacramento County’s Dine at Home pandemic program ran for nearly a year and was designed to feed homebound seniors, all while supporting local businesses.

The county used federal CARES Act money — which totaled $7.7 million — and split it up among 15 restaurants.

Although 31 businesses had applied for Dine at Home, Sacramento County officials said that only one email was sent to nearly 2,000 businesses, some of which included places like KFC and McDonald’s — much to the shock of Sacramento area community leaders.

KCRA 3 Investigates found that one of the 15 restaurants chosen received millions, while thousands of other businesses in Sacramento County were struggling to make ends meet all year.

KCRA 3’s Brandi Cummings sat down with a Sacramento County representative to shed light on the discrepancy and spoke with business owners impacted by the program.

HOW ONE BUSINESS FOUND OUT ABOUT THE PROGRAM

“We lost all our business. All of our business at that time was catering,” Kim Scott, owner of Poppy by Mama Kim, told KCRA 3.

Although she says it was already in the works, Scott opened a new restaurant in 2021, not long after the Dine at Home program ended.

“It really was a lifesaver for me to keep all of my kitchen staff employed and keep the business going,” she said.

food delivered by the business mama kim cooks

Hearst Owned

Food delivered by the business Mama Kim Cooks

According to data from the county, Mama Kim Cooks delivered 16,518 meals to 51 clients during the program.

Her business got $412,950 for the deliveries.

Scott told Cummings during an interview that her catering company wasn’t on the list to get that email about the program, but she found out about it anyway. She applied and was accepted.

“We did two meals a day for seven days,” she said.

KCRA asked the county why Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen got more than $3.3 million alone.

“Drewski’s delivered far more meals than other restaurants and thus the amount paid to them is high. There are several contributing factors for this. Drewski’s was willing to deliver anywhere within the unincorporated county (some clients live in more remote areas and were not in the delivery radius of the other restaurants), they offered vegetarian and diabetic specific meals, some clients simply preferred the Drewski option best,” a county spokeswoman said in a statement.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY RESTAURANT APPLIES, BUT IS REJECTED

“When we first found out, we wanted to protect ourselves as well. So we shut down for a month,” the owner of Louisiana Heaven, Lashaunda Cormier, said about what she did at the start of the pandemic.

Cormier reset and reopened, but she’s still working hard to make ends meet.

She told KCRA 3 that her business wasn’t on the list from the county to be notified about the Dine at Home program, but she found out about it and applied.

“I jumped over hoops. I did everything they asked for. I did over and beyond what they called for,” Cormier explained. “I did pictures of my food, they were able to go to my website.”

Her business wasn’t selected to participate.

HOW THE COUNTY PROGRAM COMPARED TO THE CITY OF SACRAMENTO PROGRAM

KCRA 3 compared the county-run program to the city of Sacramento’s home food delivery program.

The city had $18 million — double the amount of money than the county — for its Great Plates program. It served nearly the same number of seniors as the county.

However, the city of Sacramento nearly quadrupled the number of businesses that were allowed to participate, with 15 participating in the county, and 52 in the city.

NAACP’S ‘DINE IN TWO’ PROGRAM

KCRA 3’s investigation prompted the NAACP to partner with Sacramento County to create another program called “Dine In Two.”

The organization received more than $2 million from the county for that program.

Small, local and minority-owned businesses will receive $69 per meal kit, which includes delivering three meals a day.

The NAACP is still in the process of selecting restaurants to participate.

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