|Focus||Delivers food, daily essentials, vitamins and other necessities to children and families who lack these items due to famine, poverty, or natural disaster.|
|Headquarters||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|United States and Internationally|
|Travis Arnold, president and CEO|
Feed the Children, established in 1979 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a non-profit organization focused on alleviating childhood hunger. Their mission is "providing hope and resources for those without life's essentials." It provides food, essentials, education supplies and disaster relief to those in need across the United States and in 10 countries around the world. Domestically, it operates five distribution centers located in Oklahoma, Indiana, California, Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
In fiscal year 2017, Feed the Children distributed 79.8 million pounds of food and essentials to children and families in the U.S. Internationally, it provided nutritious food or other benefits to 1,080,000 children, and impacted more than 1,200 communities and schools in 10 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. It is accredited by GuideStar Exchange and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
Feed the Children's domestic programs are focused on distribution of food and essential items to families and children. Corporate partners work with Feed the Children to donate cash, food, essentials and other gift-in-kind items. Feed the Children's wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, FTC Transportation, Inc., picks up in-kind contributions from corporate warehouses and brings them to the closest Feed the Children regional distribution center. The food and supplies are then delivered to pre-approved, independent partner agencies that, in turn, distribute the supplies through various other organizations located in communities across the U.S. In fiscal year 2017, Feed the Children served more 850,000 meals through their Summer Food & Education program with the help of public funds and private partners to children in more than 20 states across the U.S.
Feed the Children also focuses on education. Through each of its distribution centers, they operate a Teacher Store, which offers free school supplies and books to educators in area Title I schools. Through its partnership with National Association of Educators for Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), Feed the Children has distributed more than a million Homeless Education and Literacy Program (H.E.L.P.) backpacks filled with school supplies, food and personal care items to children who are at-risk or homeless who are enrolled in U.S. public schools.
Through their work, they hope that: 1) All children will be properly nourished and developed by age 5 and continue to understand the importance of nutrition throughout their life; 2) All children will have access to safe and clean water, proper sanitation, and adequate hygiene resources that promote healthy immune systems and enable them to develop through adolescence and into adulthood; 3) All children will be able to enroll, feel safe, and complete a high-quality education that promotes lifelong learning; and 4) Families will be self-reliant, financially stable, and able to support and strengthen their communities.
Examples of international projects funded by Feed the Children include medical mission trips and the "Casa del Niño" (House of the child) in Barrio Ingles, La Ceiba, Honduras. In 2009 FTC has greatly expanded its program in Malawi. Using in-kind donations from Nuskin, Inc, 50,000 orphans and pre-school children, mostly in rural areas, receive a fortified porridge, VitaMeal. Feed the Children has received an $8.5 million grant from the USAID as part of a 5-year, $20 million project for orphans and vulnerable children. This will improve food security and access to nutrition, education, clean water, sanitation and sustainable agricultural development for 40,000 households and over 70,000 children impacted by HIV/AIDS in Malawi. The Tiwalere OVC Project, in full operation in 2011, will make Malawi the largest international program.
In 2015, Feed the Children was granted special consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In 2017, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Feed the Children the largest grant in its history – more than $19.15 million – to fund the Tiwalere II project. Following the success of Tiwalere I, a similar but smaller project that improved nutrition for orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi from 2010 to 2015, the Tiwalere II project will strive to achieve significant and sustainable improvements in the nutritional status of children under the age of five, pregnant and lactating women, mothers of children under the age of two and adolescent girls in ten districts within central and northern Malawi.
When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005, Feed the Children self-reported sending over 650 semi tractor-trailers totaling more than 20,000 tons of donated food and relief supplies. Between the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and the South Asian tsunami in December 2004, Feed the Children self-reported sending more than 15,500 tons of food and relief supplies to the affected regions.
Feed the Children responded to the flooding in Louisiana, Virginia and West Virginia, the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, as well as other disasters as it distributed $3.4 million worth of food and essentials to disaster-affected regions in the United States. Internationally, in fiscal year 2017, Feed the Children trained more than 32,000 individuals in disaster risk-reduction and provided supplies like food, water and tarps to 57,000 individuals.
According to Feed the Children's IRS Form 990 for fiscal year 2019, 91% of its budget went to program services (childcare, food, medical, disaster relief, education and community development), 4% went to fundraising and 5% went to management and supporting services.
Charity Navigator gives Feed the Children 3/4 stars with an "Accountability and Transparency" rating of 97, and an "Overall" rating of 89.18. GuideStar, a Charity Navigator partner, awards Feed the Children its Platinum Seal of Transparency for "voluntarily and publicly sharing information about how they measure their progress and results."
The organization is a member of InterAction, an alliance of international NGOs and partners in the United States.
However, Feed the Children's finances have not always been viewed positively. Based on the rating criteria of the American Institute of Philanthropy, Feed the Children receives an "F" rating for financial efficiency for spending only 21–23 percent of its cash budget on charitable programs. Feed the Children disputes this rating, since the American Institute of Philanthropy does not include "gifts in kind" in its ratings, while other established charity rating organizations do include these gifts in their ratings as have Feed the Children's own auditors. The most recent (issued April 2018) ranking from CharityWatch, formerly known as the American Institute of Philanthropy, now provides Feed the Children with a C+ rating. The most recent information on Charity Navigator shows Feed the Children is the subject of an official inquiry according to an article in the Oklahoman titled, "New turmoil at Feed the Children." For this reason, Charity Navigator issued a Moderate Concern Advisory.
After a lengthy leadership dispute between founder Larry Jones and the board and top executives of the charity, Jones agreed to give up operational control in August 2009. On November 6, 2009, the board voted to fire Jones from his position as president. On January 28, 2011, Jones and Feed The Children announced a resolution of the legal dispute. Jones is no longer associated in any way with Feed the Children. On June 4, 2012, Kevin Hagan, formerly with Good360, became the president and CEO of Feed the Children.
In 2013, Feed The Children disclosed that it paid $800,000 to Jones, after he was fired in 2009. The severance payment, made during fiscal year 2012, was disclosed in a 204-page return filed with the Internal Revenue Service. Feed the Children made the payment to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Jones. The charity paid an additional amount in legal fees to Jones' attorney, Mark Hammons.
For most of 2016, former congressman J.C. Watts Jr. served as the organization's president and CEO. The board of directors announced his appointment on January 21, 2016. On November 15, the organization and Mr. Watts announced that he was no longer serving in those roles. In the same publicity release, the organization's board of directors announced that Travis Arnold would be serving as executive director and interim CEO.
In early 2017, Travis Arnold was announced as the organization's president and CEO. Through his tenure with Feed the Children (he started working at the organization in 2001), Arnold has served cumulatively three and a half years as interim president and CEO, ensuring organizational continuity and focus on its philanthropic mission through periods of change.
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