Food for the Poor vs. Feed Foundation: Which Charity is More Legitimate?

Food for the Poor vs. Feed Foundation: Which Charity is More Legitimate?

If you are looking for a way to help fight hunger and malnutrition around the world, you might have come across two prominent charities: Food for the Poor and Feed Foundation. Both of them claim to have a noble mission and a positive impact, but how can you tell which one is more legitimate, transparent, and effective? In this blog post, we will compare and contrast these two organizations based on their history, vision, programs, financials, and ratings. We will also provide a final verdict, a summary, and some frequently asked questions and answers. Let’s get started!

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Food for the Poor

History

Food for the Poor was founded in 1982 by Ferdinand Mahfood, a Jamaican businessman who wanted to help the poor in his country. He partnered with other religious and humanitarian groups to provide food, clothing, medicine, and other basic needs to the needy. Today, Food for the Poor is one of the largest hunger relief organizations globally, operating in 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is headquartered in Coconut Creek, Florida, and has offices in Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana, and Guatemala

Feed Foundation was founded in 2007 by Lauren Bush Lauren, a former model and niece of former President George W. Bush. She was inspired by her travels as a student ambassador for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), where she witnessed the effects of hunger and poverty on children. She created the FEED bag, a reusable tote that provides school meals for children in need. Since then, Feed Foundation has expanded its product line and partnered with various retailers, celebrities, and organizations to raise funds and awareness for hunger and nutrition issues. It supports innovative projects that aim to build a sustainable and equitable food system for all, both in the US and internationally.

Vision

Food for the Poor’s vision is “to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children we serve. It believes that “every person has a right to the basic necessities of life” and that “the poor are the living images of God”. It follows a Christian faith-based approach and works with local churches and communities to deliver its services.

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Feed Foundation’s vision is “to create good products that help feed the world” and “to support innovative solutions for tomorrow’s global food system”. It believes that “hunger is solvable” and that “everyone can make a difference”. It follows a social enterprise model and works with various stakeholders to fund and promote its initiatives.

Programs

Food for the Poor’s programs focus on six areas: food, housing, health, education, water, and micro-enterprise. It provides meals, agricultural supplies, livestock, and fishing equipment to address food insecurity. It builds homes, schools, orphanages, and community centers to provide shelter and education. It supplies medicines, medical equipment, clinics, and hospitals to improve health and sanitation. It drills wells, installs water pumps, and distributes water filters to ensure access to clean water. It offers vocational training, small loans, and income-generating opportunities to empower the poor.

Feed Foundation’s programs support various grantees that are working at the intersection of food, politics, education, nutrition, finance, agriculture, and the climate crisis. Some of its past and current grantees include: International Rescue Committee, which provides climate-adapted seeds to farmers in conflict-affected areas; MEANS Database, which connects excess food from grocery stores to emergency food providers; Rethink Food, which rescues and redirects surplus food to low-income communities; and Mary’s Meals, which provides school meals and fuel-efficient stoves to children in Zambia2.

Financials

Food for the Poor’s financials are publicly available on its website and on various charity watchdogs. According to its 2020 annual report, it received $1.1 billion in total revenue, of which 95.6% came from donations and 4.4% came from other sources. It spent $1.1 billion in total expenses, of which 95.9% went to program services, 2.9% went to fundraising, and 1.2% went to administration. It had $41.4 million in net assets at the end of the year.

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Feed Foundation’s financials are not as transparent as Food for the Poor’s. It does not publish its annual reports or audited financial statements on its website. According to its 2019 Form 990, it received $1.6 million in total revenue, of which 99.8% came from contributions and 0.2% came from other sources. It spent $1.5 million in total expenses, of which 87.9% went to grants and assistance, 8.7% went to management and general, and 3.4% went to fundraising. It had $1.1 million in net assets at the end of the year.

Ratings

Food for the Poor’s ratings are mixed among different charity evaluators. It has a four-star rating (the highest) from Charity Navigator, with a score of 92.92 out of 100 for financial performance and 97.00 out of 100 for accountability and transparency. However, it has a F rating (the lowest) from CharityWatch, with a score of 22.5 out of 100 for financial efficiency and governance. The main reason for this discrepancy is that CharityWatch does not accept Food for the Poor’s valuation of its in-kind donations, which account for most of its revenue and expenses.

Feed Foundation’s ratings are not available from most charity evaluators, as it is a relatively small and new organization. It has not been rated by Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, or GiveWell. It has a platinum seal of transparency (the highest) from GuideStar, which indicates that it has provided extensive information about its goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress. However, this does not necessarily reflect its financial efficiency or effectiveness.

Final Verdict

Based on the above comparison, we can conclude that Food for the Poor and Feed Foundation are both legitimate charities that have a positive impact on hunger and nutrition issues. However, they have different strengths and weaknesses, and they may appeal to different types of donors. Here is a summary table of their pros and cons:

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Table

Food for the PoorFeed Foundation
ProsCons
– Large and well-established organization with a proven track record of helping millions of people in need– Controversial valuation of in-kind donations that inflates its financial performance and efficiency
– High rating from Charity Navigator for accountability and transparency– Low rating from CharityWatch for financial efficiency and governance
– Diverse and comprehensive programs that address various aspects of poverty and development– Faith-based approach that may not align with some donors’ values or preferences

Summary

In this blog post, we compared and contrasted Food for the Poor and Feed Foundation, two prominent charities that fight hunger and malnutrition around the world. We looked at their history, vision, programs, financials, and ratings, and we provided a final verdict, a summary table, and some frequently asked questions and answers. We hope that this blog post helped you learn more about these two organizations and make an informed decision about which one to support.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • Q: How can I donate to Food for the Poor or Feed Foundation?
  • A: You can donate to Food for the Poor through its website, by phone, by mail, or by other methods. You can donate to Feed Foundation through its website, by purchasing its products, or by starting a fundraiser.
  • Q: How can I verify the information in this blog post?
  • A: You can verify the information in this blog post by visiting the websites of Food for the Poor and Feed Foundation, and by checking their ratings and reviews from various charity evaluators and watchdogs.
  • Q: How can I learn more about hunger and nutrition issues and solutions?
  • A: You can learn more about hunger and nutrition issues and solutions by reading the reports and resources from the UN World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and other reputable organizations. You can also follow the news and updates from Food for the Poor and Feed Foundation, and from other charities and activists working on this topic.

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