Food for the Poor

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Food For The Poor, Inc.
FounderFerdinand Mahfood
TypeNon-profit organization
FocusImpoverished people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean
Area served
Seventeen countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean
MethodDirect assistance of churches and charity organizations operating within in-need areas through the delivery of food, medicine, housing, and other vital goods
Key people
  • Ed Raine (President, CEO)
300+ (2020)

Food For The Poor, Inc. (FFP) is an ecumenical Christian nonprofit organization based in Coconut Creek, Florida, United States that provides food, medicine, and shelter, among other services, to the poor in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Food For The Poor, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation.[1]


In 1982, Ferdinand Mahfood began Food For The Poor [2] to aid the poor and downtrodden in Latin America and the Caribbean. Clergy members of many Christian denominations, including Episcopalian, Lutheran and Roman Catholic, are the core of the organization, preaching throughout the United States about the need in the countries they serve.[citation needed]

Since 1982, Food For The Poor has distributed more than $12 billion worth of food, medicine, housing materials, water and other aid to the poor of the Caribbean and Latin America.[citation needed] In 2007, the charity migrated its headquarters from Deerfield Beach, Florida to Coconut Creek, Florida.[citation needed] As of 2020, Food For The Poor employs more than 300 people out of its Coconut Creek location,[3] in addition to employing members of the Clergy as speakers across the United States.[citation needed]


The President of Food For The Poor is Ed Raine. [4]Ed joined Food For The Poor in October 2017, and was appointed Executive Vice President in May 2018. In that role, he oversaw many aspects of management for the organization, focusing on organizational development and strategy.

Fundraising programs[edit]

Food for the Poor aids the poor through donations of money and supplies, mostly from the United States. A majority of the organization's revenue is from donated goods.

Champions For The Poor is a personal fundraising program that was founded in 2009 and lets supporters create webpages to raise funds for the poor in the Caribbean and Latin America. [5] [6] The micro-site is hosted by personal fundraising software company Classy.

Angels of the Poor is a monthly giving program that features former Charlie's Angel, Cheryl Ladd, as its spokesperson. [7] [8] Food For The Poor also hosts an annual Building Hope Gala in Boca Raton, Florida.[9]

Charity programs[edit]

Food For The Poor provides, as its main objective, nourishment to the poor. The organization also erects homes for homeless families, supplies medicine and health care in hospitals and clinics, subsidizes orphanages, and teaches children and adults by providing training.

Angels of Hope[edit]

Food For The Poor has a child sponsorship program that operates in many of the countries it serves in Latin America and the Caribbean. [10] [11] According to its website, over 7,200 orphaned or abandoned children are sponsored in the program.

Targeted crisis relief programs[edit]

In addition to its general community development and direct aid programs designed to reduce poverty and malnutrition, Food For The Poor provides targeted relief for humanitarian crises. On January 11, 2010, it announced initial success in introducing a new food source, the Basa fish, for the critically malnourished nation of Haiti.

On January 13, 2010, it announced a major relief effort directed toward the people of the same nation to help recovery from the catastrophic January 12 earthquake which struck Port-au-Prince. Food For The Poor has built 16,204 housing units since the earthquake. Additionally, 44 schools were built or restored in the Port-au-Prince region.

Shortly after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on Oct. 3, 2016, the charity set a goal to build 1,000 housing units in 100 days. The charity's teams in Haiti were able to build 1,086 housing units in 114 days, and now are helping storm victims replant crops and rebuild livestock to offset growing food scarcity


Food For The Poor partners with local organizations in the countries where they work. Jamaica, the first country assisted by Food For The Poor, today includes more than 1,800 churches as partners in the distribution of food, medicine, educational supplies and other needed items.

Since 1989, the charity's street feeding program in Kingston, Jamaica has been operated in partnership with the Salvation Army. [12]

Haiti, the largest recipient of aid from the charity, has an expansive network of island-wide distribution hubs, and supports thousands of partners in feeding the poorest of the poor.

Some of our other major partners include: American Nicaraguan Foundation, Caritas, CEPUDO, Fundación Nuevos Horizontes, Living Water, and Order of Malta.


The Palm Beach Post has documented controversies involving Food For The Poor. In 2000, Ferdinand Mahfood resigned as CEO amid allegations he diverted money to two female employees with whom he was sleeping. Ferdinand Mahfood ultimately admitted misappropriating $275,000 from FFP and took steps to pay the money back.[13]

Ferdinand's brother, Robin Mahfood took over as CEO amid the crisis. Between 2003 and 2007, FFP paid out $1.9 million in salary and benefits to five of his relatives.[13] Until 2008, FFP also did business with two for-profit companies run by Mahfood's family, buying in four years more than $200,000 worth of sodas and knee-high water boots in deals Mahfood had a hand in approving. CEO Robin Mahfood received a salary of $364,874 in 2008 [13]

On April 11, 2018 the attorney general for the state of California, Xavier Becerra, filed a limited CEASE AND DESIST order to Food For The Poor, alleging their claim that 95.6% of all donations, including donated goods, to Food For The Poor went directly to programs that help the poor[1] was incorrect and misleading and that the actual number (for 2013) was 66.2% of cash donations. The state also claims that the charity used improper accounting techniques where they would take the inflated US retail value of expiring pharmaceuticals that were donated or made available by Pharma companies for delivery to third world countries and count that value the same as cash donations. The state is ordering that the organization pay $1.088 million in fines and stop using the 95% statement. The charity continues to be licensed to solicit charitable funds in the state of California.[14]

Food for the Poor responded that they uphold the highest standards of integrity and honesty, and they are confident that they will demonstrate that their accounting and valuation practices and solicitations meet and often exceed legal requirements, as well as industry best practices. They issued a public statement and are appealing the order.[15]

On September 20th, 2019, the California Attorney General's office announced that it had secured a Cease and Desist Order and over $1 million in penalties against MAP International, Food for the Poor, and CMMB (Catholic Medical Mission Board), for deceptive solicitation tactics.[16]

Due to this ongoing legal action, Charity Navigator no longer provides a rating for Food for the Poor; instead its page for Food for the Poor declares that Charity Navigator has issued a "Moderate Concern CN Advisory" and includes a (pre-judgment) link to a statement by Food for the Poor challenging the charges. [17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Charity Navigator, Food For The Poor". 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  2. ^ "Reality Beats Mahfood's Wildest Dreams". 2012-10-16. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  3. ^ Dear, John (2010-11-16). "Don't forget 'Food For The Poor'". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  4. ^ "Food For The Poor, Food For The Poor". Retrieved 2020-03-05.
  5. ^ "Sunshine Ophthalmic. Why we give back". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  6. ^ "VTS Helps Build Beauty From Ashes". Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  7. ^ "Food for the Poor holds Fine Wines gala with Cheryl Ladd". 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  8. ^ "Cheryl Ladd Food For The Poor Haiti - YouTube". 2016-10-17. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  9. ^ "Food For The Poor gala to fund homes in Haiti". December 19, 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  10. ^ "Food For The Poor holds Angels of Hope Festivals". 2005-07-05. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  11. ^ "Local companies, Food for the Poor Guyana Inc. host Angels of Hope Day for Orphans". 2015-07-26. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  12. ^ "Food For The Poor, Salvation Army Treat Poor And Homeless". 2013-12-26. Retrieved 2018-02-24.
  13. ^ a b c Palm Beach Post. "Family behind flourishing Coconut Creek charity survives past scandals, renews focus". Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Cease food for the poor" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  15. ^ [:]
  16. ^ "Attorney General Becerra Secures Cease and Desist Orders and Over One Million Dollars in Penalties Against Three Charities for Deceptive Solicitations" retrieved December 8, 2019
  17. ^ "Charity Navigator - Rating for Food for the Poor" retrieved December 8, 2019

External links[edit]