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Food For The Poor

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations

Mission: Food For The Poor (FFP) ministers to spiritually renew impoverished people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Established in 1982 as a 501(c)(3)corporation, our goals are to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children we serve. Food For The Poor raises funds and provides direct relief assistance to the poor, usually by purchasing specifically requested materials and distributing them through the churches and charity organizations already operating in areas of need. In this way, the organization serves the poor with dignity and ensures the most appropriate use of donors’ funds. Our ministry reflects God’s unconditional love, which surrenders all, inspires trust and faith, and embraces all people regardless of race, status or creed.

Geographic areas served: The Caribbean and Latin America

Programs: Healthcare - food for the poor shipped over 618 trailer loads of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment that help maintain clinics, hospitals, and nutritional centers to provide much needed medical care to the poorest of the poor.

basic needs - food for the poor distributes aid to support the feeding, clothing, and sheltering of the poor. Over 52 million pounds of food including rice, beans, grain, canned food and other assorted food, enough to feed millions of malnourished children and their families was distributed in 2014. We have built over 7,367 housing units for families in need of adequate shelter and since our inception in 1982, have constructed over 98,000 housing units for the poor.

education - food for the poor built, rebuilt or contracted to build 44 schools, also shipped 433 trailer loads of school furniture, books and supplies to give eager students the tools necessary to learn. These innocent, hopeful children become students who thrive on the opportunity to learn and to obtain skills they need to gain employment.

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters
13

Donor

Rating: 1

I will no longer donate to this charity. The Mahood family lives very well from their earnings generated by FFP. I will not support a charity that pays the CEO $388,000+. Their direct mailings are very well done and slick! I am guessing the fundraising costs are much higher than stated because this kind of advertising is VERY expensive to produce, print and mail.

Review from CharityNavigator

8 Frank14

Donor

Rating: 2

I was giving to the FFP for years, now that my income has changed I cannot give anymore. I have told them over and over that I have no money to give but for the past few years they have continued to pester me for cash. I really thought this charity was on the level but I have a feeling it is not.

Review from CharityNavigator

5 Bret B.

Donor

Rating: 1

Please do not donate to this organization. Once you donate they will never ever stop harassing your for additional donations. I donated $100 to them over two years ago and even wrote them several times and asked them to stop mailing me requests for donations. There are far better organizations who will respect the donors.

Review from CharityNavigator

7

Donor

Rating: 1

Please do not donate to this charity. I made the mistake of giving a medium sized donation one time and I have been continually hounded by their massive marketing machine. I have written them twice and requested to be removed from their lists. I have told the paid telemarketers who call, that I will never again donate to this organization. And today, still I receive another request for more funds. If you donate to this organization, please understand the only thing that your are improving is the depths of our landfills.

Review from CharityNavigator

Previous Stories
9

Donor

Rating: 1

We received the pitch during our local church service. I took the Church's unspoken support of this organization instead of doing my own due diligence. Once I donated, I started to receive something in the mail from this organization every single week. I wrote them a letter and asked to be taken off their mailing list and indicating that they were spending more of my funds on mailers than they were on feeding the poor. Since that time, they have continued to send me regular junk mail. I can't tell you that I understand their organization and all of the details. I can tell you that I will personally never give to this organization again. I want to give to the poor not to direct mail.

Comments ( 1 )

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FoodForThePoor 04/02/2012

mail5, I apologize that you felt bombarded by our appeals and that we did not promptly remove your name from our records after your request. We truly appreciate your concern about how FFP donor money is allocated because it is a top concern for us as well. We are proud to say only 2.5 percent of our budget goes toward fundraising (which includes our mailed appeals) and 96 percent of all donations go directly to the poor. The appeals are an important method of keeping donors informed about the desperate living conditions of the poor and how donor money is spent to provide relief. They have helped collect more than $9 billion for the poor, allowing us to build more than 77,000 homes for the homeless and send more than 60,000 containers filled with essential goods to the 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries we serve. If you would like to be removed from our mailing list, our Donor Services department can help. Please call 1-800-487-1158 or email Donorservice@foodforthepoor.com. You can also contact me directly at meganw@foodforthepoor.org, and I can help make sure your name is removed. I hope this helps. Thank you for your support. -Megan@FFP

Review from CharityNavigator

8

Donor

Rating: 1

I was very sorry we donated to this charity a few years ago because after we did we received a ridiculous amount of glossy mailings urging us to donate more. I finally had enough and called asking for our names to be taken off their mailing list. The woman I spoke to actually asked if I had prayed over my decision which felt like she was implying I wasn't a good person. Then I read about the CEO's compensation - way more than I'll ever make!

Review from CharityNavigator

7

Donor

Rating: 1

Like the reviewer who wrote in January, 2011, I questioned why I first heard of Food for the Poor at an appeal in a Catholic church. The online answer is that they are slick promoters. They advertise in the National Catholic Reporter and recruit priests to speak in local parishes. CharityWatch does not list Food for the Poor with their top charities, but it awards Catholic Relief Services, also working in international relief, an A+. CharityWatch does not included donated goods in its efficiency ratings. Thus, it gives Food for the Poor a lower ranking than other charity rating services.

Review from CharityNavigator

8

Donor

Rating: 1

I receive constant appeals from Food for the Poor for donations through the mail and via the Internet. I used my matching gifts program at work for my last contribution to Food for the Poor. I was about to make another donation only to learn that the compensation of the President and CEO of the organization was $388,979 for a year. I prefer to make my charitable donations to organizations that do not award such a high level of compensation to its leader, and one which focuses more on the needs of the poor.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had nothing but great experiences with this charity. They demonstrate Christian values. I have been called and helped by them praying for me several times at just the right time when I needed it the most and the prayers were so awesome they had to be guided by the hand of God. How many charities do you know that are used by God in that manner? They have called to thank me and pray with me with all sincerity and I have been very blessed by their caring for me. I believe in this charity. As far as the salary of the CEO goes, I cannot judge. How do you know what this person does with his money? People who run billion dollar organizations with skill, talent and excellence deserve a fair salary. In this day and age, for that level it is not out of line. You people need to get real. You get what you pay for. Perhaps these people who are complaining about the CEO salary would like a more incompetent manager who deserves less and runs the organization into the ground.

5

Donor

Rating: 1

I will not donate to a charity that pays $388,000 to a CEO. To me, that is more than anyone needs to earn especially when the money comes from donations. That salary is pure greed.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

Donor

Rating: 2

It makes me sick to know how many people would be with the CEOs salary. I will not donate to a charity that has a paid CEO. It totally devalues the word charity! Very sad!!

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 1

I cannot in good conscience donate to Food for the Poor knowing that the President draws a $400,000/yr salary from our donations. What a shameful contradiction knowing their mission is "to serve poorest of the poor". And if that isn't enough, that salary buys the wisdom behind the excessive (junk) mail campaign

Review from CharityNavigator

5

Donor

Rating: 3

WHY DO THEY SEND OUT SO MANY SOLICITATIONS. I DONATED DEC. 2012. SINCE THEN I HAVE RECEIVED 7 MAIL SOLICITATIONS. I DONATED AGAIN IN APRIL AND HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED ANOTHER MAIL SOLICITATION. WOULD'NT BE BETTER TO USE THE MONEY TO HELP THE POOR INSTEAD OF MAILING ALL THESE SOLICITATIONS?

Review from CharityNavigator

2 John64

Donor

Rating: 5

Food for the Poor is the quintessential ideal of what a charity should be. Of course they prevent people from literally starving to death. But they do so much more than that. They help others maintain their livelihood by working to build fish farms, water pumps, chicken pens, etc. They are not out to make people dependent upon charitable giving, they are out to help people make something of themselves by providing them with the tools, education, and resources to do so. This gives their beneficiaries the ability to provide for themselves in the long run. I love their marketing efforts as well. I love the fact that I know exactly what it is I am "buying" for someone with my donation. I also appreciate the fact that I can tell them how much or how little marketing from them I want to receive. Bottom line, Food for the Poor is an excellent example of a truly exceptional charity. Good work!

Review from CharityNavigator

1

Donor

Rating: 4

I have donated for several years now and I had to write because I am very distressed at some of the other reviews and the fact that their star rating was figured in the average. If you don't believe in helping people in other countries, that's your decision, but don't knock Food for the Poor for what they do. I wonder if some of these people have ever received a mailing from FFTP. In America, nowhere is there poverty like in the places FFTP serves. In Haiti, Guatemala and the other countries they help, there are no food banks, WIC or government programs. Children starve to death before their parents eyes and they are helpless. If you choose to ignore that, that's your privilege. The only reason I held off on 5 stars was that I don't see why a CEO of a charitable organization should make such a large salary. Could anyone address this? I have seen it many places and I just don't think it's right.

Review from CharityNavigator

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to Food for the Poor for many years now. As many others have noted, fund raising contacts are very frequent, often to the point of annoyance, but the cause is just and important and I tend to overlook it. They are not unique in this regard. Despite Robin's larger than average salary, their administrative expenses remain among the lowest of any charity. I, too, wish it was less, but accept that he has built a high performing organization. Perhaps he'll think about it. Their focus is and apparently always has been the Carribean, Central and Latin America. Few would disagree that these are among the poorest of people, nations and regions in the world and have been so for generations. There are groups that specialize in Africa and elsewhere in the world and I believe it is impossible for one organization to have any long term impact by being too scattered and fragmented in their approach, with the possible exception of the Catholic Church who has great resources, both human and financial, and the largest donor base of any organization in the world. I find the criticism by so many of those in these comments to be unfounded, unworthy and in many respects petty. Look again at the total revenues of the organization and the utilization of those revenues for the mission. it's extraordinary compared to so many other higher profile groups. Food for the Poor, along with Catholic Relief Services, also does one of the best jobs of searching out matching funds and grants. I think I first became a donor more than 10 or 12 years ago, and they, along with CRS, are my two primary humanitarian charities. I've donated money, but I've also found particular satisfaction in donating animals, equipment and infrastructure so families and communities can help themselves on a more sustainable basis. I've often given these in the names of my grandchildren at Christmas and they've always taken great pleasure in helping in this way. Food for the Poor is an outstanding charity run by people who obviously care and live the mission. They are deserving of continued support and will certainly have mine.

Review from CharityNavigator

7

Donor

Rating: 3

My problem with this organization is fund raising waste.

They blow their horns over their fund raising efficiency of .02; but nevertheless I find them wasteful. I am a monthly donor. Yet they still send mailing after mailing after mailing asking for funds. I have only so much. Furthermore, these mailings are expensive. Full color spreads and postage are not cheap, even at the "charitable organization" rate.

Just the other day I got another mailing which contained a nickel. They asked me to send it back. This is absolutely a waste! Not only does it add 5 cents a copy to the mailing cost, it creates an administrative burden in dealing with whatever nickels are returned. Sadly, most nickels wind up in pocket change or in the trash. What a waste!

It is fund raising foolishness such as this that drives me nuts, causing me serious concern about continued donations to these people.

Please try to understand my point. The tiny amount I can give has already been spent on useless, wasteful fundraising. Tell me ___why I should continue?

My suggestions are:
Flag monthly/regular donor records - don't send more mailings --- this is wasteful --- they already give.

Don't put my donated money (nickels) in future mailings.

9 Matthew kuhn

Donor

Rating: 1

I have been a donor to Food for the Poor for several years. As the economy has changed, I have chosen to look more closely at the charities I have provided financial assistants. I will no longer give to Feed the Poor when the CEO is paid 403K. He is far from poor and I will not be any part of paying his salary. I will continue to feed the poor through local food banks and Food for the Hungry which has a better Charity Navigator rating.

Review from CharityNavigator