MADISON, Tenn. (WTVF) – Federal aid was hijacked by restaurant and food truck owners and now those affected want to get it back.

For Laura Schneider, Doug Williams and Telisha Williams their world was blocked during the pandemic. Doug and Telisha are musicians, and Laura is a photographer.

They decided to buy a food truck to pay the bills in 2020. Williams said, “Our income was completely destroyed during the pandemic that led us to open and start this business.”

Williams said a fire destroyed their truck a few weeks after they took it. They applied for pandemic federal funds that were supposed to be given to veterans, women, and minority-owned businesses, but that did not happen. “Very disappointing smell, total from the moment of sailing,” Williams said.

The priority list was challenged in court and considered unconstitutional, so the Dreamers Food Trucks collided to the bottom of the line. “We were given $ 38,000 which would have fully offset our losses,” Williams said.

Co-owner Laura Schneider said it is not fair because they are trying to do their best to survive. “There are restaurants that were fully established before the biggest losses promised for this funding occurred, made deals with the owners as soon as they got their grant, hired staff again, reopened, made major equipment upgrades that came back . ”

Now, they are demanding that Congress put $ 60 billion into the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

“Talk about life change, this is an ultimate game for many people there is no other way,” Schneider said. “There is money owed on rent as if they could not compensate overnight.”

Right now they are urging the community to call Congress to get the job done so food trucks and restaurants stay open.

Schneider said, “They will go down, there is no time …”

The office of Congressman Jim Cooper has contacted dreamers about what happened to them.

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