During confinement, DIF Veracruz spent millions on school breakfasts

The Veracruz DIF spent more than billion pesos in school breakfasts, even though schools were closed for two years; having no way to deliver them, they expired and even ended up as pig feed.

the digital medium Political Animal published a report where it revealed that the Veracruz entity, together with Sinaloa Y San Luis PotosiThey invested more than thousand 770 million pesos in school breakfasts during 2020 and 2021, even though the schools were empty.

The investigation refers that the contracts that were signed by Veracruz were the tallest of the three entities, because in the two years of the pandemic acquired 209.8 millions of products for an amount of thousand 366.9 million pesos.

In total, the DIF of the three states spent 1,770 millions of pesos in the purchase of school breakfasts with the schools closedso the distribution process was affected and in some cases the teachers and parents solved it with their own means, but in others, the items never reached the children or they received expired items.

It was revealed that others were delivered to beneficiaries of different programs, contravening the Operation Rules, they were sold on social networks and even ended up as animal feed.

Political Animal notes that after reviewing hundreds of contracts, it was found that the three states purchased 336 millions of articles for school breakfasts such as milk cartons, cookies, dried fruit, cereal bars, which make up “cold breakfasts”; and tuna, sardines, flour, grains, and even fruits, meats, and vegetables for “hot breakfasts” served in school cafeterias.

Although the schools closed, neither the federal nor the state governments provided a mechanism to ensure the distribution of food, despite the fact that this was the final point of delivery, nor for the program to meet the objective of providing food to secondary school students. basic, primarily rural and highly marginalized areas.

The journalistic investigation highlights that before the pandemicthe school breakfasts they were delivered by the supplier in the state warehouses of the DIF.

From there they were distributed to the schools where the directors and the parents’ associations were in charge of receiving them, checking that their content was complete and in good condition, signing the minutes, distributing them and collecting the 50 cents that the parents had to pay for each breakfast and deliver them to the DIF.

However, during the pandemic millions of items were delivered to the DIF’s municipal warehouses, but from that point on the communities had to resolve the distribution with their own means and the authority lost control of who received the items.

The report cites the testimonies of teachers and directors of schools in Veracruz, specifically from walnut treeswho in exchange for anonymity, pointed out among other things that the parents had to cooperate to rent a freight for 800 pesos, but when they picked up the products, the powdered milk -which is part of the school breakfasts hot- it was expired.

That is why they decided to use it as feed for pigs.

“Of 46 boxes of powdered milk that they gave us (in 2020), there were about 16 pieces that were already expired. The parents were told that those bags of milk were expired, so there was one or another dad, who has animals , who said that they could occupy them that way; and then they were granted. They told us that it was very useful for pigs and also for farm animals, and there were several fathers who took them away like this, “he explained.

Since there was no strategy to specifically serve the target population of the program, that is, the students, the state DIF decided to break the law and deliver them to beneficiaries of other programs.

Thus, on March 24, 2020, the director of Attention to the Vulnerable Population, Nytzia Guerrero, sent a letter to the directors of the municipal DIF so that the school breakfasts were distributed to beneficiaries of the program for older adults and people with disabilities, violating the Operating Rules and without the authorities supervising that the distribution of the assets was neutral and without proselytizing purposes, especially when the local electoral process 2020-2021.

In another official letter from April 2020, Governor Cuitláhuac García requested through the director of the DIF, Rebeca Quintanar, to ask the Morena deputies to “support” the distribution of food programs in their electoral districts, which ended in accusations before the Local Electoral Public Organism (OPLE).

The investigation adds that, in June 2019, at the beginning of the Cuitláhuac García government, the State DIF signed a framework agreement through which it agreed that, by direct award, Diconsa would be their main supplier of products for various food programs.

Based on said agreement, in June and July 2020 -during the first peak of the pandemic– Two contracts were signed for the purchase of hot and cold breakfasts, AD-009.20 and AD-014.20, respectively, for an amount of 702.5 million pesos.

In April 2021, two new contracts were signed, AD-05.21 and AD-07.21, for an amount of 664.2 million pesos. Months after the signing of these contracts, a hybrid model of return to face-to-face classes was implemented in the entity.

The cold breakfasts contained a 250 ml milk carton. and supplements such as cereals, fruits and cookies. The hot modality included chicken, beef and pork, vegetables such as green beans, carrots, peas and nopales, as well as pasta, flour, rice, beans, canned tuna and sardines, oil, powdered milk and oatmeal.

It is noted that, in total, during the two years of pandemicthe Veracruz government acquired 209.8 millions units of these products as part of the program that was to benefit basic education students, primarily from marginalized areas, in accordance with the Operation Rules published in the Official State Gazette.

However, the municipal authorities detected the sale of school breakfast packages through social networks, so the DIF of Xalapa issued a warrant in August 2020 “to report the incorrect use of this benefit that should reach girls and boys.”

In the Carlos Pereyra preschool, in the municipality of Ixtaczoquitlanteachers denounced that the perishable products that make up the breakfasts -fruits, vegetables and meats- arrived decomposed, so they had to throw them away.