Michigan National Guardsmen tasked withthe U.S. Capitol have said they’re being provided food that’s “badly undercooked, raw, moldy, and even filled with metal shavings,” according to a letter from the state’s House delegation obtained by CBS News on Tuesday. Some guardsmen have been hospitalized after eating the food, the letter said.
“It is clear that these contracted meals are poorly prepared, oftentimes inedible, and highly inadequate to support our soldiers,” the 14 lawmakers said in the letter, which was sent to the chief of the National Guard. “It is completely unacceptable that our men and women serving in Washington, D.C., are being hospitalized due to the food they are being provided.”
The letter asks that the National Guard end its contract with its current food provider and either find a new provider or give the members a per diem for the remainder of their time at the Capitol.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said he was not aware of the reports when asked on Tuesday, but said the Pentagon aims to ensure that all guardsmen get “the support they deserve.” The National Guard did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Approximately one-fifth of the National Guard troops still working within the Capitol perimeter are from Michigan, CBS affiliate WUSA9 reported. All National Guard troops will leave Capitol grounds by March 12, the outlet said.
This is not the first time lawmakers have taken issue with the treatment of guardsmen at the Capitol. In late January, lawmakersafter guardsmen were asked to leave the Capitol building and instead rest in a parking garage during their shifts. The guardsmen were quickly allowed back inside.
Eleanor Watson contributed reporting.