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Ministry Spotlight


Food for the Poor began in 1982 for the collection and distribution of money, food, clothing, medicine and other goods to improve the health, economic and social conditions of indigent poor throughout the world.  Activities are primarily in the Caribbean and Latin America.

For 2021 Food for the Poor had four areas of program services in the following categories:

  1. Healthcare – 68 percent of its program services shipped 841 trailer loads of  medicine, medical supplies, masks, sanitizer and related items to clinics, hospitals and medical care centers in developing countries.
  2. Basic Needs – 24 percent of its program services provided support for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter.  Provided food for about 247 Million meals.
  3. Community Support and Development – 6 percent of its program services provided self-help projects such as animal husbandry, water wells, seeds, fruit tree nurseries, fishing villages, and aquaculture ponds so that families can generate income.
  4. Educational – 2 percent of its program services provided educational supplies such as school furniture, books, computers, etc. as well as funding to build schools.

Of financial note, Food for the Poor received approximately 46% of total support and revenue from two donors during 2021. These contributions were in the form of donated goods.

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Food for the Poor is associated with four other organizations. These organizations were established with the name “Food for the Poor – (country name)” and are based in Canada, Jamaica, Haiti and Guyana. Except for Food for the Poor – Canada, each of the organizations operates distribution centers in their base country.  Food for the Poor – The United States has no ownership or voting interest in these organizations; however, in 2021, the ministry made distributions of approximately $357,408,000 to these associated organizations.  In addition, Food for the Poor distributed goods through various other charities in which some board members hold executive positions. In 2021, Food for the Poor made distributions of approximately $761,000 through these related organizations.

Food for the Poor has some ongoing issues with the Attorney General of California.  During 2018, the Attorney General of California initiated several actions against Food for the Poor pertaining to its solicitations and questioning its financial presentations. In September 2019, the Administrative Judge determined that the State did not prove its case regarding improper valuation and had not proved that there was any violation of Food for the Poor’s application of accounting standards in its financial statements. After numerous trials and appeals and following final hearings held in March 2021, a California Superior Court Judge ruled in favor of the Food for the Poor and vacated the Cease and Desist Order and $1 million fine that had been imposed against Food for the Poor by the State. The final judgment, entered on July 6, 2021, included an injunction against the State’s enforcement of invalidated sections of the Charitable Supervision Act. However, the State has appealed the decision.

The aim of Food for the Poor is to provide aid to improve the health, economic, and social conditions of the poor.

MinistryWatch Donor Confidence Score:  53 (out of a possible 100) “Give With Caution”

MinistryWatch Financial Efficiency Rating:  5 Star (out of a possible 5 Stars)

MinistryWatch Transparency Grade:  C

ECFA Member?  No

Revenue in Most Recent Year Available (2020):  $754,904,577

Five-Year Revenue Trend:  Decreasing (about 24 percent decrease)

Percent of Revenue Food for the Poor Spends on Fundraising:  5 percent

Percent Peer Group Spends on Fundraising:  6 percent

CEO/President:  Ed Raine

CEO/President’s Salary and Other Compensation:  $351,548

Complete MinistryWatch profile for Food for the Poor can be found here.

Find recent MinistryWatch articles mentioning Food for the Poor here.

Rod Pitzer

Rodney Pitzer, Certified Fraud Examiner since 2005, has worked for audit and investigative organizations, including Oregon Department of Justice's Charitable Activities, and being Director of the Oregon Board of Tax Professionals in 1999. In 2011 founded AVOWED.org, ministering to widows, elderly and the disabled, and now scheduled to plant a church in Corpus Christi, Texas.