Michigan National Guard soldiers who were deployed at the U.S. Capitol earlier this year will get reimbursed for meal expenses after a bill was signed today by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Many were outraged at the stories of moldy and undercooked food provided to the troops by Sardi’s Catering of Maryland. Reports surfaced that at least 50 troops were sickened with gastrointestinal sickness after eating the food.  There were even reports of 75 meals being thrown away when metal shavings were found.  Some Michigan National Guard members had to buy meals out of pocket.  Nearly 1,000 Michigan troops were among 5,200 serving at the Capitol after the incident on January 6th.

That prompted a bi-partisan group in Congress to introduce the Guard Reimbursement for Unhealthy Bites (GRUB) Act.   But State Lawmakers moved quickly to get their bill through.  State Rep. Thomas Albert R-Lowell and State Senators Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte, and Adam Hollier, D-Detroit, led the bi-partisan effort on HB 4019.

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"I am grateful to the brave men and women of the Michigan National Guard for their service earlier this year protecting our nation’s Capitol Building," said Governor Whitmer. "The Michigan National Guard has risen to the occasion over the past year as we responded to COVID-19, natural disasters, and civil unrest. It is unacceptable that our service members faced hardships of inadequate meals while serving our nationI am delighted to sign this bipartisan bill trecognize Michigan National Guard members for their service."  

Key provisions of HB 4019 include the following:   

  • The bill directs the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs (DMVA) to issue a one-time grant to eligible soldiers who were deployed to Washington, D.C. in support of the Capitol Response II mission at the United States Capitol within 45 days of receiving funds.  
  • The bill directs the DMVA to divide the total amount donated, up to $110,000.00, by the number of eligible soldiers who deployed to establish an equal grant amount for each soldier. 

 The Maryland food vendor, Sardi’s Catering, was paid $11.4 million for the service by the government.

 A copy of HB 4019 can be found here.   

 

 

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