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Food for the Poor

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LAST UPDATED: November 28th, 2023

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Coconut Creek Florida, Food for the Poor operates in 17 Caribbean and Latin American countries and supplies food, secure housing, medical care, education, emergency relief, and clean water to the people and households of those nations who are in need. As an international non-profit organization, Food for the Poor offers several ways for donors to support its mission and combat poverty. Families and children in these countries are often suffering from malnutrition due to food shortages. Donors can put their money towards providing nutritious food and a meal to those people in need or even purchase livestock, supplies, monthly gifts, child sponsorship, and memorial gifts.


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The Good

  • Total income
  • Administrative expenses
  • Fundraising expenses
  • Program percentage
  • Donor communication
  • Awards

Total Income

Food for the Poor's financial information from 2011 to 2014 is as follows:

  • 2014: $912,451,190
  • 2013: $1,029,428,385
  • 2012: $899,936,574
  • 2011: $938,218,153

To-date financial information and donation totals can be found on the website. 

Administrative Expenses

For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2014, Food for the Poor reported that it spent 0.8 percent of its revenue on administrative expenses, or $7,630,451. The chairman and president of Food for the Poor, Mr. Robin Mahfood, received an annual salary of $395,664, or about 0.04 percent of the organization's revenue.

Fundraising Expenses

For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2014, Food for the Poor spent 3.4 percent of its revenue on fundraising expenses.

Program Percentage

Food for the Poor reports an average of 95 percent of its income being spent on program delivery. That indicates responsible financial management under expectations put in place by charity watchdog organizations, which rate charitable organizations with program delivery percentages exceeding 70 to 80 percent favorably. This ensures that the proper ingredients and help are in some form reaching the poor people of the selected impoverished countries. 

Donor Communication

Food for the Poor regularly sends email newsletters and postal mail requests for funds. The allow donors to know where their donations are going. The organization also operates a robust blog and several social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. They provide continuous updates about the charity, and the families and children being helped.


Food for the Poor has been widely recognized for its mission, innovative marketing, and impact which it has made in the communities where it serves. A small sampling of recent awards is highlighted below, but is not meant to be a comprehensive list of the recognitions received by Food for the Poor.

  • 2016: Mail Innovation Award from the United States Postal Service which recognizes innovation, teamwork, communication and customer service during projects using the USPS or collaborating with the USPS
  • 2016: Chancellor Award from the University of the West Indies (UWT) which is awarded to individuals of Caribbean heritage or organizations which were founded by persons of Caribbean descent making contributions to promote or solve prominent issues affecting the Caribbean region
  • 2015: Nonprofit Organization of the Year from The Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Federation (DMANF) which recognizes outstanding nonprofit organizations for their mission delivery
  • 2014: Gold DMA International Echo Ultimate Team Awards (2) from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) for video and direct mailing campaigns
  • 2013: DMA International Echo Ultimate Team Award from the Direct Marketing Association for a direct mail fundraising campaign
  • 2011: Bronze Telly Award for the video spot, "The Least of These"
  • 2010: Joe Jackson Industry Champion from DuPont Performance Coatings recognized Daniel-Gérard Rouzier, Chairman of the Board for Food for the Poor-Haiti, for his work to arrange and provide proper burials to 2,500 earthquake victims in Haiti, rather than have the remains trucked to a mass burial pile and left to decay, as was the case for many victims of the Haitian earthquake

The Bad

  • Accessible financial information
  • Negative press

Accessible Financial Information

Food for the Poor has published financial information from 2008 to 2014 online. However, the information which has been published is not comprehensive for all years. Additional improvements in the organization's transparency would be necessary in order for us to rate Food for the Poor more favorably on this particular criterion.

Negative Press

Food for the Poor has been the subject of some negative press in the past, including the following: 2000: Diversion of Funds/Sex Scandal In 2000, after police reports were made in Broward County, Florida, the FBI began an investigation of Food for the Poor. It was determined during the investigation was that Ferdinand Mahfood, founder of Food for the Poor, had diverted over $400,000 to two female employees, both of whom were romantic interests of his. This scandal resulted in Mr. Mahfood resigning and his brother, Robin Mahfood, assuming the roles of chairman and president of the organization. The Mahfood family repaid the mishandled funds. 2001-2002: Loss of Support from the Catholic Church After the above scandal was exposed, the Catholic Church removed its official support of Food for the Poor. However, there are several Catholic publications which now write positive stories about the organization. 2003-2007: Family Members of Founder Paid $1.9 Million in Salary and Benefits Food for the Poor began as a family nonprofit, so it is not surprising that there are several family members of the Mahfood family which have been on the organization's payroll. However, some view the number of family members and their respective salaries as indicators of nepotism and greed.


The Bottom Line

Food for the Poor is one of the largest charitable organizations in the U.S. and provides relief to those in the Caribbean and Latin America who face poverty. The non-profit organization provides nutritious food, clean water, medical care, education, and sustainable projects to poor households and communities. Food for the Poor's program delivery percentage indicates financial responsibility and the organization has received numerous awards, which helps its standing amongst numerous similar charities. However, Food for the Poor's accessible financial information is not comprehensive as to the and the organization has received some negative press in the past.

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16 Reviews

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sonia nelson Malverne, NY

I have been donating to FFTP for ove 30 years. I was impressed with the retired priest who came to our Church in Metuchin, NJ. years ago to tell us about this amazing man who started the organization and to solicit funds. My first check of $50.00 was donated on that day. I also obtained a copy of a tape that showed horrible conditions in Jamaica and how FFTP was making a difference in the lives of the poor there. I became a believer them. The onlt reason I was looking on the site today was to see if there was an opportunity to help double my donation if I make it today (giving Tuesday) and I happened upon the article about the scandal.I was so surprised! happy that the funds were returned. I am committed to giving a donation every year as long as I am able because I believe in the work that they do to provide hope for the needy.

2 months ago

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Mary Chesapeake, VA

I have been giving to Food for the Poor for almost 12 years now, and I have to say, I'm not thinking about stopping. This organization gives more %-wise than almost any other organization. If that means the President gets a good salary, I think that is ok. I'm sure he works hard. I have asked them to never contact me or I will stop giving, and they NEVER contact me. I am so happy. I gave once to St. Judes and they sent me stuff in the mail and spent a small fortune doing it. I would love to give to them as well, but I just wish they would leave me alone. So, I continue with FFTP, and love that they don't bother me or send me weekly/monthly things in the mail. Just a statement once/year for my taxes. Amen. Couldn't be happier.

5 years ago

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Anthony Fort Wayne, IN

A lot of uninformed comments here.. Two of them never even gave to them.. Another one says they kept "taking his money", which basically means he probably had it setup on a monthly and forgot to cancel and is irritated about it. So basically, almost every review here are non-relevant reviews, other than probably the missionary who posted and maybe one other. MY REVIEW: I have given to them and have had no problems. I have yet to see a person with a legitimate complaint against them. I have no complaints with their service so far the times I have given to them. I have not had phone calls from them, etc. Only once in a while get a letter in the mail.

5 years ago

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shirle speaks ,


3 years ago

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philip pandak Crown Point, IN

I give to FFP and have for decades,, I understand CEO's and upper management make better then adequate salaries . not overly thrilled with family members being part of upper management,, possible nepotism red flag for me which could lead to more scandals , also not happy to hear about sexual pay off scandals as well ,, for the most part I feel FFP provides a service to the most unfortunate of Gods children ,, we all will one day have to answer to him for our lives , I trust and hope the people associated with FFP will do the right thing , I will still give freely from my heart knowing I'm doing a good thing for people in need ,, God bless those who care enough

4 years ago

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Gregg Williams Lima, OH

One thing for sure with some of the negative reviews, people would find any excuse to stop donating for a cause. I've been donating to Food for the Poor for a little over a year now and it's been gratifying knowing that I could help families in need of basic things such as food and shelter. I'm not sure what the responsibilities of the CEO is and if there salary is justifiable, but that'll be between them and GOD! The only thing that I could hope and pray for when Food for the Poor is asking for more money is strictly to feed and shelter the families in need and not pad there pockets.

4 years ago

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Anita BARDOWELL Burlington, NC

As a returned missionary who worked in the Caribbean, I am surprised by your website's reviews. The FoodForthePoor organization was the major shipper for all our bulk supplies needed for both orphanage and schools. For a missionary it is like saying, "I got a box from ... UPS or FedEx brought it to my door." The organization TRANSPORTS the donations from multiple denominations, not just the Catholic diocese. It would appear that their attempts to include Americans as donors is misplaced. Telephone solicitation is very obviously giving them a bad name. But when in the field, this FtP is our best resource to get bulk supplies across the borders and into the churches and missions.

5 years ago

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Lynn Duffy Suwanee, GA

We have been giving to them for years because they seem to do good work and because they have low Admin costs. I have to admit that in just learning their CEO makes just shy of 400K, I am shocked. That seems to be outrageous. It doesn't mean I'll stop giving to them but it does not seem right and I hope their board will review this immediately. A non profit CEO should be in it for the right reasons, not to make a Corporate like CEO salary. My 2 cents worth.

5 years ago

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Jennifer Crawfordsville, IN

I am shocked that someone would say that they are not going to donate, because of five bad reviews compared to millions of people, there are always going to be haters of good things. This is a very reputable organization who does help the poor. Just remember that God sees your heart.

5 years ago


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Makayla Manus Gulfport, MS

I've been poor majority of my life, and now that I'm in a better situation it feels good to give back to other people in that situation. The people of this organization are so amazing. The employees do so much to help the poor. The donation is really as much as you're able to do and it's all for a great cause.

4 years ago

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Calvin Ruby Hendersonville, NC

I have been a faithful contributor for a number of years albeit uninformed. I became concerned about wasteful mailings and then the recent glossy, expensive solicitations to regular givers. I recently checked the officer compensation..ridiculous. So more $ from us. Why do worthwhile charities seem to go this way?

4 years ago

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Glenn Scherkenbach Huntley, IL

My sister is a Catholic missionary and she tells me they are terrific to work with. “They always help when asked.” I regularly give.

5 years ago

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Dan Spokane, WA

I played alot of money to food for the poor,and they act like I didn't give them the money.They took my money and didn't even do anything about it when I told them.They are outrageous idiots who cannot even handle money right for needing children.I will never give any money to them ever again!

5 years ago

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[email protected] Auburn, IN

I have repeatedly asked these people to stop calling. I have registered my phone number on their website opting out of phone contact. I still get calls multiple times per week. I even got a message at home about a picture of me that had been posted on a website. Very creepy!

6 years ago

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k Port Clinton, OH

sent solicitation emails to my parents who are both over 80 and on fixed income. I asked them to stop 5 times. they need their money also. i have been ignored every time. I am still getting guilt-trip type emails from them and have complained to the bbb.

8 years ago

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James Lada Huachuca City, AZ

I received a request in the mail and checked Food for the Poor on I found nothing. After reading the negative issues on this site I decided to not donate.

5 years ago