Food For The Poor, Inc.


Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. Founded in 1982, the interdenominational Christian ministry serves the poorest of the poor. Thanks to its faithful donors, the organization's programs are providing housing, healthcare, education, fresh water, emergency relief and micro-enterprise assistance, in addition to feeding hundreds of thousands of people each day.

Food For The Poor has provided billions of dollars in aid and has built more than 107,000 housing units for the destitute. In the last decade alone, the charity has provided more than $10 billion in aid, and just last year constructed 9,431 housing units for families in need of safe shelter. Total fundraising and administrative costs in 2015 comprised less than 5% of expenses. More than 95% of all donations go directly to programs that help the poor.

In a 2016 survey of the 100 largest U.S. charities, Forbes magazine rated Food For The Poor the seventh-largest recipient of private support. With a charitable commitment ratio of 96%, and a fundraising efficiency of 97%, Food For The Poor received the highest possible ratings from industry observers such as Ministry Watch, and is also proud to meet the extensive standards of America's most experienced charity evaluator, the Better Business Bureau.

Contact information

Mailing address:
6401 Lyons Road
Coconut Creek, FL 33073-3073


Phone: (954) 427-2222


Organization details

EIN: 592174510

CEO/President: Robin G. Mahfood

Chairman: Mr. P. Todd Kennedy

Board size: 11

Founder: Mr. Ferdinand Mahfood

Year founded: 1982

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Food for the Poor aims to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children. 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. More than providing food for the starving they help build small houses, dig water wells, provide medicine and medical equipment as well as supporting orphanages and education for the children.

Their mission is also guided by a commitment to prayer to maintain the purity of the mission. Staff will conduct regular prayer services, praying over specific prayer requests received as well as general prayer for the poor.

Mission statement

Food For The Poor's mission is to link the church of the First World with the church of the Third World in a manner that helps both the materially poor and the poor in spirit. The materially poor are served by local churches, clergy and lay leaders who have been empowered and supplied with goods by Food For The Poor. The poor in spirit are renewed by their relationship with and service to the poor through our direct ministry of teaching, encouragement and prayer. Ultimately, we seek to bring both benefactors and recipients to a closer union with our Lord.

Statement of faith

This organization has not provided a Statement of Faith. At such time that MinistryWatch receives this information it will be posted.

Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Relief and Development

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating18 of 4229 of 60
Fund acquisition rating99 of 42225 of 60
Resource allocation rating30 of 42212 of 60
Asset utilization rating2 of 4222 of 60

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$10,429,581$1,757,051$2,003,927$2,002,728$4,880,894
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$366,259$107,161$357,131$279,870$122,205
Total current assets$28,399,451$12,802,224$15,040,168$14,938,507$15,290,805
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$15,233,211$15,366,995$15,386,119$15,344,318$15,744,919
Other long-term assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term assets$15,233,211$15,366,995$15,386,119$15,344,318$15,744,919
Total assets$43,632,662$28,169,219$30,426,287$30,282,825$31,035,724
Payables and accrued expenses$5,719,002$4,850,115$6,021,988$4,713,050$6,466,638
Other current liabilities$0$0$724,092$724,092$724,092
Total current liabilities$5,719,002$4,850,115$6,746,080$5,437,142$7,190,730
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$181,019$905,109$1,629,198
Total liabilities$5,719,002$4,850,115$6,927,099$6,342,251$8,819,928
Net assets20162015201420132012
Temporarily restricted$1,456,142$877,297$931,088$753,006$1,120,281
Permanently restricted$0$0$0$0$0
Net assets$37,913,660$23,319,104$23,499,188$23,940,574$22,215,796
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$994,805,635$1,158,721,800$913,271,519$1,030,035,258$900,396,552
Program service revenue$0$0$0$0$0
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$19,950$18,904$35,776($2,446)$32,916
Other revenue$97,576$127,459$89,539$119,803$104,966
Total other revenue$117,526$146,363$125,315$117,357$137,882
Total revenue$994,923,161$1,158,868,163$913,396,834$1,030,152,615$900,534,434
Program services$936,845,315$1,117,029,079$873,606,211$991,109,536$859,467,705
Management and general$8,151,419$8,034,135$7,687,613$7,304,402$7,883,160
Total expenses$980,328,605$1,159,048,247$913,838,220$1,028,427,837$896,513,348
Change in net assets20162015201420132012
Surplus (deficit)$14,594,556($180,084)($441,386)$1,724,778$4,021,086
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets$14,594,556($180,084)($441,386)$1,724,778$4,021,086

Response from ministry


Since its inception in 1982, Food For The Poor has provided almost $11 billion in aid (more than half of which was provided in the last five years) and has built more than 107,000 housing units for the destitute. In 2015, Food For The Poor constructed 9,431 housing units for families in need of adequate shelter. Total fundraising and administrative costs in 2015 comprised less than 5% of our expenses. More than 95% of all donations go directly to programs that help the poor.

FFP follows the principle that education and self-help must fortify charity work so recipients learn to break the cycle of poverty. FFP supports programs to teach recipients how to raise livestock, develop small businesses and provides agricultural assistance to independent farmers.

FFP was founded in 1982 by Ferdinand Mahfood. His vision was instrumental in guiding FFP as it became the most significant relief organization in the Caribbean and Central America. Robin Mahfood, who has extensive experience in business management and an in-depth knowledge of the Caribbean, assumed the Presidency in 2000 and provides the leadership for FFP during this time of explosive growth.

Created to help destitute people in Caribbean and Latin America, FFP has forged a spirit of cooperation between churches of the First World and churches of the Third World. FFP collects funds from North American and European benefactors, purchases goods cost-effectively on the world market, ships the items duty-free and arranges for their distribution to the poor through churches, missionaries and charity organizations in 17 countries.

Program accomplishments

Food For The Poor operates and supports feeding programs that feed hundreds of thousands of people every day. To accomplish this, we partner with churches, schools, hospitals, missionaries and charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army, Caritas, the American-Nicaraguan Foundation, the Order of Malta and others. The charity distributed more than 56.6 million pounds of food to malnourished children and their families in 2015.

In Haiti, through a network of more than 2,600 local beneficiaries, the charity teams with its many partners to feed the poorest of the poor. These organizations are located throughout the country and are served by warehouses and distribution facilities in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien.

Throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, the poor often live in dilapidated shacks made of scraps of wood, metal, plastic and cardboard. This type of shelter offers little protection from the elements, insects and rodents. As a result, illness and disease are rampant, especially among those who are most vulnerable -- the young and elderly. In addition, the poor who live in these conditions are particularly devastated by natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes.

Since inception, Food For The Poor has built more than 107,000 housing units for destitute families in the Caribbean and Latin America, with more than 75,200 housing units being built in the last decade. These safe and secure homes not only benefit the families receiving them, but also provide a source of much-needed work for local laborers. (House designs and construction materials may vary in different countries.) Food For The Poor has constructed 5,900 double-unit homes in Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake.

The importance of education in breaking the cycle of poverty is crucial. To this end, Food For The Poor ships books, school supplies, furniture, computers and other needed items to schools throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. Food For The Poor solicits used school desks, furniture and other equipment from school districts in the United States when they replace these items. Such classroom necessities are then shipped to schools in need.

In addition to providing supplies, Food For The Poor also supports school feeding programs in the countries we serve. For many poor children, the nutritious food they receive at school may be their only meal of the day. The meals not only help a child concentrate, learn and develop, but they also serve as a powerful incentive for parents to send their children to school.

In 2015, Food For The Poor built, repaired or expanded 35 schools, and shipped 176 tractor-trailer loads of school furniture, books and educational supplies to schools, giving children from destitute families valuable tools for learning.

Medical Care
Medical care and treatment is often minimal or underfunded in the countries we serve.

Food For The Poor currently provides 2,132 medical institutions with supplies to care for the sick. Food For The Poor solicits donations from major medical suppliers of equipment and medicines for distribution throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. In Haiti, Food For The Poor operates outpatient clinics and supplies hospitals with food, medicine and medical equipment. Food For The Poor also supports hospitals, clinics, HIV/AIDS facilities, homes for the elderly, and orphanages throughout the Caribbean and Latin America by providing food, medicine and medical supplies. In 2015, a total of 713 tractor-trailer loads of medicines and medical supplies were sent to help care for the sick in the countries we serve.

Food For The Poor has specially selected orphanages to participate in our Angels Of Hope program. These orphanages are safe havens where the children can grow and develop mentally, physically and spiritually in a loving Christian environment. Additionally, the charity supports homes for at-risk children and the elderly.

Caring donors to the organization have sponsored more than 5,200 children in 154 orphanages. We encourage our donors to build a relationship with sponsored children to encourage them and let them know that they are loved and valued.


The need for clean, safe drinking water is critical in the countries we serve. In some cases, local water sources might be polluted or contaminated. In other instances, women and children must walk for hours to a water source, returning home with heavy buckets that contain their family's daily water supply, with no certainty of its purity.

Food For The Poor provides villages and communities with safe alternatives to drinking polluted water. Water wells, pumps, water treatment units, cisterns and sanitation facilities greatly reduce illnesses, diseases and parasites associated with polluted or contaminated water.

Solar-powered water purification and chlorination units guarantee potable water, regardless of the condition of the water source. Freed from the tedious and grueling chore of walking for hours to and from a water source, children with access to safe, fresh water are able to attend school, and women can utilize their time for more productive tasks. Since 1998, the organization has completed more than 2,286 water projects, with 1,500 water projects being completed in the last decade.

Micro-Enterprise Development

Providing the poor with long-term, sustainable solutions to poverty is a priority at Food For The Poor. To accomplish this, the organization has developed several micro-enterprise programs that help the poor help themselves through self-sustaining income-generating and food-producing projects.

Some of these projects include:

  • Fishing villages in Jamaica, Haiti and Honduras
  • Agricultural research and training centers
  • Aquaculture fish farms
  • Animal husbandry projects
  • Bee farming and honey production
  • Woodworking shops
  • Sewing enterprises
  • Women's vocational training centers
  • Bakeries
These skills training and micro-enterprise projects help the poor earn an income and learn a viable trade. In many cases, those receiving help will in turn help others in their community.

Fishing villages are a prime example of the effectiveness of self-help projects. When destitute coastal villages are selected to participate in Food For The Poor's fishing village program, a fishing cooperative is formed. The cooperative is supplied with boats, motors, fishing tackle and safety gear, refrigeration equipment, a storage facility and training in deep-sea fishing.

Thanks to these resources, fishermen are then able to fish in deeper, more bountiful waters and catch larger, more profitable fish. The entire village benefits from this enterprise because many of the villagers buy fish wholesale in order to sell it retail, while others sell fish to local residents. Additionally, the fishermen are required to return a portion of their proceeds to those who are less fortunate.

Currently, 16 fishing villages are in operation in Jamaica, and 42 have been established in Haiti. There also are 11 fishing villages in Honduras, which are located along the Caribbean coast of the Central American country.

Disaster Relief
Whenever the need arises, Food For The Poor stands ready to send immediate assistance to those affected by natural disasters.

The world will never forget the horrific images from Haiti after the devastating earthquake of Jan.12, 2010. Food For The Poor immediately responded by shipping and distributing food, water and medical supplies. Since 2010, the organization has sent 6,260 tractor-trailer loads of gifts in kind and purchased items: food, water, medicines, medical supplies, shoes and other lifesaving relief aid valued at more than $1.2 billion to Haiti. These shipping containers also included water-filtration systems, building supplies, household items, cleaning supplies, tile, school and dorm furniture, tools and hygiene kits. Food For The Poor honored its commitment to donors by spending $20.7 million (the full amount raised by FFP) in Haiti earthquake relief funds by the end of October 2010. Since the earthquake donors' gifts have provided:
  • 5,900 permanent double-unit concrete block homes with water and sanitation components
  • 542 water wells
  • 105 solar-powered water purification systems that each produce up to 10,000 gallons of chlorinated water per day, for a total up to 1,050,000 gallons of clean water each day
  • 37 schools in the Port-au-Prince region, either built or restored
As of December 2015, more than 66,000 people arrived in Haiti from the Dominican Republic, according to the reports by the governments of Haiti and the D.R., which share a border on the island of Hispaniola. The situation is the result of a change in the D.R.'s Constitutional Court in 2013, which removed citizenship from anyone born after 1929 who doesn't have one parent of Dominican blood. The country later decided that those affected could apply for a residency permit, with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2015. The number of people crossing from the Dominican Republic into Haiti has slowed, but those who have arrived are in desperate need of assistance. Food For The Poor is continuing to deliver aid.

In August 2015, Dominica suffered a devastating blow from Tropical Storm Erika. The storm caused flash flooding and mudslides, killing at least 20 people and leaving more than 50 missing according to published reports. Home to more than 71,000 residents, the small island was not prepared for the nearly 13 inches of rain that fell on Dominica in a very short period of time.

Food For The Poor shipped 12 tractor-trailer loads of relief items that also included gift in kind donations from partner organizations Feed My Starving Children, who donated cases of pre-packaged rice meals, and Matthew 25 Ministries who provided six pallets of hygiene kits. Food For The Poor works with primary partner R.E.A.C.H (Reaching Elderly Abandoned Citizens Housebound) who helped to distribute these much needed relief items to storm victims. In 2012, Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy lashed the Caribbean. By February 2013, Food For The Poor had shipped more than $5 million in aid to Hurricane Sandy victims in Jamaica and Haiti. Items sent to assist storm victims included lumber, zinc, water treatment facilities, food and household items. Since Hurricane Sandy made landfall in October 2012, Food For The Poor has built 1,488 double-unit homes in Jamaica.

Food For The Poor works directly with churches, the clergy, missionaries and other nongovernmental organizations in the countries where we serve. The organization asks what's needed and then supplies the requested items. This direct distribution method helps assure that only those items that are actually needed are shipped, and it also helps keep operational costs to a minimum.

Since 1982, Food For The Poor has shipped more than 75,000 containers of goods valued at more than $11.4 billion, with over $10 billion worth of aid in the last decade. Agreements with the governments of the countries that receive aid allow these shipments to enter the countries duty-free.


Currently, there are numerous opportunities to support the work of FFP. Children and families in the western hemisphere's poorest nation, Haiti, are served FFP. The ministry is also actively working in Guatemala, meeting essential needs there. One can utilize the "gift catalog" to provide for essential needs of people helped by FFP. On special occasions, give friends and loved ones something that will be cherished and touch their hearts. Through the Angels of Hope child sponsorship program, about a dollar a day will help support a child. Through Angels of the Poor program, one can express their ongoing concern for the most disadvantaged of Gods children. Tribute gifts and matching gifts are also encouraged. To learn of other ways to help, visit the "How to Help" section of the website.