Food for the Poor


Overall Score

2 User Reviews

Food for the Poor


Overall Score

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in 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 those in need. Food for the Poor offers several ways for donors to support its mission, including purchasing livestock or supplies for those in need, monthly gifts, child sponsorship, and memorial gifts. 

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

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, which 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.

Donor Communication

Food for the Poor regularly sends email newsletters and postal mail requests for funds. The organization also operates a robust blog and several social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+.


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. Food for the Poor's program delivery percentage indicates financial responsibility and the organization has received numerous awards. However, Food for the Poor's accessible financial information is not comprehensive and the organization has received some negative press in the past.

User Reviews


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  • 0

    July 28th, 2017 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!

  • 1

    February 12th, 2016 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.