Catering group Aramark has been given the contract for providing meals for refugees from Ukraine without going through the regular procurement process.
Minister for Children Roderic O'Gorman said the Government had to move quickly and added "we have not be able to use the traditional procurement processes".
"We have had to move quickly, that is why 16,000 are being fed," he said.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said: "Aramark, you will know, have been a very controversial company criticised for the poor quality of their catering in US prisons, for the poor quality of some of the catering they provide for the people in Direct Provision."
He added there had been protests at the National Gallery by artists for its decision to use Aramark.
Mr Boyd Barrett claimed there had been strike action because Aramark had not given redundancy terms to workers.
Minister O'Gorman said the Government was dealing with a crisis and ensuring every Ukrainian person who sought shelter would be receive it.
He said if there had been long delays the Government would have been rightly criticised for the delay.