After loud backlash from many elected officials across Florida, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried (D-FL) plans to review her department’s decision of discontinuing their partnership with Feeding South Florida as Farm Share wins their contract with the state.
The decision to part ways with Feeding South Florida drew tons of controversy, especially focused around Broward County, Florida.
County Commissioner Nan Rich of Broward County stated last week that she had called Fried “to ask her to consider a review and restoring of the applications, and she declined to do it.”
The backlash thrown at the gubernatorial hopeful has been very bipartisan with Democrat Broward County Commissioners joining Republican State Rep. Mike Caruso (R) who credited Feeding South Florida as the only nonprofit that would be able to fulfill their contract and run the funded Emergency Food Assistance Program.
Instead of extending Feeding South Florida, the agency has now contracted Farm Share to pursue the project, and they already have a contract for Miami-Dade County.
Feeding South Florida has tried to challenge the state’s decision, but the Department of Administrative Hearings ruled last week that they had no jurisdiction on the matter and sent the issue back to Fried’s office.
On the other hand, Farm Share cited the ruling and has publicly considered this deal squashed (pun intended), unlike many elected officials across the aisle in Broward County.
Fried’s office confirmed that the department made a decision in the best interest of Florida as it was “unbiased,” further claiming “Commissioner Fried has had several conversations with Broward County leaders to explain the unbiased selection process by expert department staff, and has offered to personally review the results.”
Broward Democrats have already stated they do not wish this issue spills over as a topic in the gubernatorial primary race in which Fried will face off the former governor and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL).