Massachusetts is spending $64 daily to feed each migrant: Report

News & Politics

Massachusetts is spending roughly $64 per day to feed each migrant seeking asylum in the “sanctuary” state, according to a report published by WBZ on Friday.

The news outlet’s team obtained vendor contracts for various migrant services, including 17 contracts for hotel and motel stays totaling more than $116 million for fiscal year 2024, ending in June.

Massachusetts state Republican Senator Peter Durant told WBZ that lawmakers have been asking Democratic Governor Maura Healey’s administration for more information regarding migrant-related costs. According to Durant, they “have been stonewalled” by the administration “for the better part of a year.”

In addition to collecting taxpayer funds for housing accommodations, some hotels are also being paid to provide migrants with three meals daily. A contract obtained by the news outlet revealed that in some instances, hotels are charging $16 for breakfast, $16 for lunch, and $31 for dinner. In other words, the state is paying $64 per day to feed each illegal migrant.

Massachusetts is the only state in the nation with a Right to Shelter law, which requires that every homeless family be provided a place to stay with refrigeration and basic cooking facilities. Since some of the shelter accommodations do not have these appliances, the state is contracting vendors to deliver food to migrants, WBZ reported.

Documents obtained by the news outlet revealed that Spinelli Ravioli Manufacturing Company, a catering company, was awarded a $10 million six-month, no-bid contract from the state.

The East Boston company told WBZ, “As an approved state vendor, Spinelli’s was contacted at the onset of the crisis. We are not the exclusive meal vendor and do not have a guaranteed contract, or financial agreement, beyond this initial emergency period. We are currently in the bid process for an enduring contract and are looking forward to continue to aid the State and the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities to reach their goals.”

According to Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, awarding a no-bid contract was justified given the unprecedented demand and urgency of the migrant situation. The catering company’s contract expires at the end of March.

Durant noted that the shelter and food expenses are just a portion of the costs being spent on the state’s ongoing migrant crisis.

“The MassHealth cost and the educational cost,” he added. “That’s the concern is the money has to come from somewhere and so there’s only really two options. You either raise taxes or you cut services.”

Durant stated that the cost of providing services to the migrants is going “straight to the taxpayers.”

Some Boston residents have begun welcoming illegal migrants into their homes after Healey announced that the state’s shelter system had reached capacity in November.

Healey’s administration came under fire for closing down a recreation center in Roxbury, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston, to convert it into a temporary migrant shelter. Many of those now housed at the makeshift shelter were sleeping on the floor at Boston’s Logan Airport.

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