A Somali scandal & Minnesota millions

The Twin Cities are in news once more for shell companies, misused grants, charities, and fraudulent funds. The latest involves a not-for-profit “Feeding Our Future”

The Twin Cities are in news once more for shell companies, misused grants, charities, and fraudulent funds. The latest involves a not-for-profit “Feeding Our Future”
The Twin Cities are in news once more for shell companies, misused grants, charities, and fraudulent funds. The latest involves a not-for-profit “Feeding Our Future”

Feeding Our Future or Filling our Pockets!

A few days ago, on February 25th, 2022, a not-for-profit organization called Feeding Our Future announced that it is dissolving its operations. About time, given that it is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for misuse of federal aid, running into millions of dollars. The funds meant to feed poor children were allegedly being directed to shell companies and then used for luxury cars, high-end real estate, and even trips to casinos.[1]

Based in Minneapolis, the nonprofit Feeding Our Future, and some of its partners carried out a scheme to siphon federal aid from the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program both of which are USDA programs.

In three applications for search warrants, which were filed in federal court in Minneapolis, the FBI said that it was investigating a “massive fraud scheme” involving misuse of federal funds meant to feed children. So far no one has been charged with a crime. But if the FBI does a thorough job, there is no reason why such obvious and blatant fraudulent schemes should go unpunished. Nonprofits are supposed to follow documentation processes and maintain records for up to 6 years. Mining of bank records and money flows should speak for themselves.

Image 1: Aimee Bock with some of the beneficiaries of Feeding the Future
Image 1: Aimee Bock with some of the beneficiaries of Feeding the Future

While Feeding Our Future (FOF) says it provided meals to more than 30000 children throughout the Twin Cities, FBI warrants allege that almost none of the money went towards feeding children and instead was a money-laundering racket using shell organizations for personal profit.[2]

“It’s heartbreaking that the organization must dissolve under these unfortunate circumstances,” said Aimee Bock, the nonprofit’s executive director, seen in this picture (1) with beneficiaries of the NGO. She is being investigated by the FBI as well.

Beneficiaries of FOF programs in “Little Mogadishu”

FOF benefited many Somalian, Hmong, and Ethiopian immigrant families. Minnesota saw an influx of Somalis in the 1990s during the civil war. They came as temporary refugees and George Bush had refused to award citizenship to these asylum seekers calling them temporary refugees. However, when the Obama government was sworn in, many Somalians were granted citizenship and settled in Seattle and Minneapolis.

1/4 of all the Somalian people living in the United States live in Minneapolis where pockets are known as “Little Mogadishu” with more Somalis living here than anywhere in the world, except in East Africa.

Distribution of meals was allegedly carried out through outlets like Safari, a high-end Somali cuisine restaurant which is now under investigation and “temporarily closed” citing pandemic as the reason. The restaurant has come under intense scrutiny given its close links to the scandal and embezzlement.

Image 2: Mekfira Hussein of Shamsia Hopes
Image 2: Mekfira Hussein of Shamsia Hopes

Other distributors were sister organizations like “Shamsia Hopes” which received a weekly budget of $200000 to $250000 for serving ethnic meals and delivering groceries to Somali, Ethiopian, and Hmong refugees.

Mekfira Hussein reveals that funding had stopped last year when the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) put a spanner in the works.

This is not the first brush with law and controversy for Feeding Our Future.

FOF vs. Minnesota Department of Education Controversy

Feeding Our Future had ongoing disputes with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). The NGO has been at loggerheads with MDE, a conduit for federal funds. When MDE changed its application process in 2020 and when FOF filed over 50 applications for new distribution centers, MDE rejected them for lack of due process. FOF then sued the MDE in November 2020, for posing hurdles in setting up new sponsors and sites.

MDE, on the other hand, alleged poor book-keeping, lack of audit trails, improper documentation, and incomplete applications. Additionally, MDE was apparently investigating four complaints filed against the NGO by vigilante citizens, which can seem like a very good reason to stall expansion programs by Feeding our Future.[3]

However, the non-profit won the battle with a court order by Judge John Guthmann asking to process FOF’s pending applications refusing to accept MDE’s asks to complete investigations and due paper trails. To add insult to injury for MDE, in a year-long legal fight, the judge ordered the MDE to pay about $47K to FOF in attorney fees and other expenses.

Not only did FOF come out looking shiny during that lawsuit, but its funding spiraled up significantly from $2.9 million in 2017 when it was founded, to an astounding $197 million dollars in 2021.

Feeding Our Future’s deep support from the political corridors was obvious during this tryst with MDE. For example, in the summer of 2021, a gala was held at Safari Somali Cuisine, a restaurant that was later found to have played a big role in this alleged fraud. Senator Omar Fateh and Ilhan Omar’s deputy district director Ali Isse rose in strong support for FOF.

In an impassioned speech, Ali Isse, deputy district director for U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-5th), supported FOF during the dispute. “I’m tired of this MDE thing,” Isse says at one point. “How many MDs we gotta fight against?” Like others defending Feeding Our Future at the time, he framed the situation as a powerful government agency cracking down on an underserved minority community, given that the charity served parts of the East African immigrant community. At one point, he said: “This community is tired. It’s tired of the bulls—. It’s tired of the runaround, and we’re not going to tolerate it anymore.”

These speeches were earlier posted by Somali TV, Xogmaal Media online but are no longer available on YouTube since the FBI investigations.

Image3: Safari Somali Restaurant and its owners were implicated in the alleged fraud
Image3: Safari Somali Restaurant and its owners were implicated in the alleged fraud

Other controversies around the plush NGO

As if the $200 million was not enough, Aimee Bock the executive director of FOF, ran a GoFundMe campaign in October 2021[4]. $74000 was quickly raised during this campaign which was shelved soon because the charity’s registration number was called off.[5]

The GoFundMe campaign reveals a circular loop of beneficiaries, donors, and political leaders. Donors like Abdinasir Abshir, Ahmed Gedi, AbdiHakim Ahmed, Salim Said, and Abdul Kadir Salah are now being brought under the FBI net of investigation as money trails showed they were owners of either shell companies, Safari Restaurant, or bank accounts that had received millions in stolen federal child nutrition money through Feeding our Future.[6]

Image 4: Senator Omar Fateh, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and Mayor of Minneapolis Jacob Frey
Image 4: Senator Omar Fateh, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and Mayor of Minneapolis Jacob Frey

Political Fallout

All these men are also donors to Mayor Jacob Frey’s campaign, which belongs to the same Democrat Farmer Labor party as Ilhan Omar.

Ilhan Omar received donations from some of the same donors listed above. She has now directed those funds to two Jewish and one Native American NGO to ward off controversy.

Omar Fateh, a first-time Somali American Senator from Minnesota also received donations from some of them. No prizes for guessing that he belongs to the Democrat Farmer Labor party.

Statements by the Republican Party

Given that the entire Minnesota Democrats’ political machinery is threaded into this spider web directly or indirectly, it is only right for the state Republicans to call for an audit on Minnesota’s overall COVID-19 spending.[7]

State Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, who chairs the Senate Education Committee, issued the following statement:

The amount of money available to help Minnesotans is staggering, and there has always been a concern with the oversight. This money is supposed to help people, help kids, help small businesses. I appreciate the Department of Education’s diligence in reviewing these funds … I’m sure other agencies and departments could use support for oversight, so I am calling for an audit of all COVID-related funds and spending to hold accountable bad actors. We must ensure these dollars are going to those who need the help.”

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, issued a similar call for a review of all COVID-related funds by the administration of Gov. Tim Walz.

The other nonprofits in the region have been deeply concerned about the scam and rising rate of such frauds being under investigation. The alleged $200 million fraud by an organization in the Twin Cities also creates a general sense of distrust on nonprofits and they are demanding stringent action. Cathy, a Minnesotan who has worked for years in nutritional programs said, she had never heard of this nonprofit and how it had such exorbitant funding despite poor record keeping.

How deep is the rot?

Since the past decade, anyone watching the takeover of Minnesota by the Progressive leftists has seen radical left ideas emanating from the political corridors of the Twin Cities.

Indian Americans have seen Ilhan Omar lead misleading and false statements on Kashmir during the Tom Lantos commission and lead the Islamophobia bill to silence free speech. The Twin Cities and its Progressive Left city council also passed anti-India resolutions in 2020. Large-scale destruction and rioting through the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement following the George Floyd incident also just happened to begin in Minnesota. The Anti Police movement and demands for defunding were also pioneered here, mainly by Ilhan Omar.

Not only that, but a slew of FBI investigations in Minnesota have stayed on course, slow and steady since 2017. These mainly concern nonprofits and misuse of federal funds.

During the COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program, a firm called Global Medical Services (GMS) received funds fraudulently claiming medical tourism from Arab countries like Qatar and UAE. GMS is being sued by multiple businesses for its inability to pay. Kim Sing (aka Khemwattie Algoo) who boasted of her political connections with the Democrat Farmer Labor Party member Keith Ellison, was a serial entrepreneur of such businesses that did not pay contractors or employees and misappropriated funds.

Another big scandal that rocked Minnesota and resulted in an investigation and shutting down of many childcare and daycare centers, construed misuse of state and federal childcare funding to the tune of 100 million-plus taxpayer dollars. Bob Stillman turned whistleblower and called it Minnesota’s Watergate. He claimed that millions of dollars were transferred abroad to fund Islamic terror groups or for local political funding. Minnesota’s State bureau of criminal investigation and secret service closed 16 childcare centers like Baraka Childcare services and Umma childcare Center which were mainly catering to East African minorities. The centers were overbilling the state’s Child Care Assistance Program, then writing checks to themselves and family members and providing kickbacks to some parents.[8]


The American system is known for its strong structural foundations that provide significant checks and balances. It is hard to say what is driving this current lack of respect for systems and rule of law and the rising trend in welfare frauds using NGO funding in Minnesota. The Progressive Left campaign by Ilhan Omar during her Congressional run focused on the “greed of corporations” not acknowledging the contributions made by these businesses in creating employment and building America’s economy. Instead, a socialist welfare agenda of the Democratic Left has started to bring the third world issues of corruption and Marxist agenda of denuding the taxpayer money to fill their pockets.

Many Somali refugees who settled with government assistance (Section 8, EBT) are implicated in the named fraudulent schemes above showing that some asylum seekers coming into the US may not be driven by gratitude or desire to “pay it forward.”

1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.


[1] Nonprofit Feeding Our Future to dissolve in wake of FBI investigationFeb 25, 2022, Kare 11

[2] Nonprofit wins small battle in lawsuit with the MN Dept. of Education over funding for meals for low-income childrenJun 30, 2021, Twin Cities

[3] Tracking the alleged Feeding Our Future scandalJan 29, 2022, American Experiment

[4] While Feeding Our Future brought in millions of dollars in federal food aid money last year, its director also launched a GoFundMe campaign that brought in tens of thousands more.Feb 04, 2022, Sahan Journal

[5] Political fallout from Feeding our Future raid begins to unfoldJan 22, 2022, Yahoo News

[6] Feeding the Future Ilhan Omar – Google

[7] Republicans Call For Further Investigation Of Other COVID-Related Federal Funds After Feds Investigate Nonprofit For Alleged FraudJan 21, 2022, CBS Minnesota

[8] 3 Minneapolis child care centers plead guilty to fraudJan 04, 2017, Fox 9

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Richa Gautam is a Senior Research Associate at the Center of Indic Studies at Indus University. Her research focuses on emic and indigenous ethnographic studies and documenting lived experiences of Indian communities like Bheel, Kolis, Suthars and those deemed as Dalit, Adivasis during British rule and Criminal tribes by the heinous Criminal Tribes Act of 1871. Richa has spent the last six years dividing her time between field studies, advocacy efforts and documenting and conducting research for her clients at Sycamore Research. Richa Gautam has published articles under her byline for various newspapers internationally and is a speaker and presenter in media and social media. She actively works in the field of diversity, inclusiveness, and minority rights as well as decolonial practices as Founder and Executive Director at Cares Global.
Richa Gautam



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