Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s the difference between WFP and WFP USA?
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. In 2010, WFP aims to feed more than 90 million people in 73 countries.
WFP USA is a U.S.-based, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that focuses on building support in the United States for WFP and other hunger relief operations. WFP USA unites organizations and individuals committed to solving world hunger. Our education, advocacy and fundraising efforts in the United States support WFP’s life-saving global food assistance and development programs.
2. Is WFP USA a lobbying organization?
WFP USA is a registered 501©(3) organization, as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to fundraising, communications and grassroots activities, WFP USA meets with elected officials to discuss global hunger, WFP programs, funding shortfalls and the United States’ role in humanitarian relief. Our advocacy and education efforts help ensure that global hunger relief programs remain a priority for the United States government.
1. How does WFP help hungry people?
Providing food to hungry people is just one way WFP works. The agency also establishes and implements programs that combine vital nutritional assistance with job training, basic education for children, maternal health education for expectant mothers and treatment for HIV/AIDS patients.
WFP also provides food assistance and logistical support during emergency situations, whether those are man-made or natural disasters. In regions that experience recurring and destructive natural disasters, WFP pre-positions food in targeted areas for quick and efficient distribution and works closely with those governments to improve their disaster preparedness programs and mitigation techniques.
2. Do national governments eventually take over WFP’s food assistance programs?
WFP implements food assistance programs under the assumption that national and local governments will eventually take them over. Throughout the entire establishment and implementation process, WFP works with the government. After a program has been in place for a certain period of time, WFP will begin the transition process to respective government officials. WFP remains in place during this process in an advisory capacity.
For example, within the past 40 years, more than 30 countries have already taken over WFP school meals programs, and most are now providing school meals on their own.
3. Why does WFP work in countries that have oppressive and non-democratic government regimes? Aren’t these governments to blame for hunger and poverty in their own countries?
Countries that need assistance request it directly from WFP. The agency will make its own assessments and take appropriate action from there. Hunger knows no borders, age, gender, race, religion, or politics.
The larger issue here is the number of people in these and other countries who are being reached by WFP every year. What’s important to remember is that WFP has changed the lives of millions of people by giving them food to survive and vital skills they use to become productive and healthy workers. WFP food assistance helps break the cycle of hunger and poverty.
4. Does any of WFP’s support help fund terrorism?
Not at all. WFP’s priority in any situation is feeding hungry people. Whether it be during conflict, natural disasters or peacetime, WFP seeks opportunities to break the cycle of poverty by helping hungry people become self-sufficient and healthy.
1. Is hunger really that big of a problem?
Yes. There are currently 925 million people worldwide suffering from chronic hunger. That's more than the populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union combined. Undernutrition leads to low birth weight in newborns and permanent growth stunting. It also hinders brain development.
Hunger is more deadly than HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. One in seven people goes to bed hungry each night.
But hunger can be solved. Despite hunger’s prominence across the globe, there is enough food to feed every man, woman and child.
2. Why should I care about hungry people in other countries, when there are so many hungry Americans?
One hungry child is one too many. Hunger knows no borders, and WFP is leading the efforts to end global hunger.
1. What is the “Fill the Cup” campaign?
The “Fill the Cup” campaign aims to raise funds and awareness for WFP’s school meals program. School meals come in the form of porridge, which is served in a cup. For a majority of schoolchildren, this cup of food is the only meal they get all day. WFP encourages people to “Fill the Cup” by making a donation or volunteering to help raise awareness. It can cost as little as 25 cents to provide a healthy meal to a child in school; about $50 will feed a child for the entire year. Learn more about school meals.
2. What does the red cup represent?
The red cup is a symbol of hope. It represents WFP’s approach to addressing child hunger. In many cases, the food is prepared in cups and served in cups. This plastic cup holds the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. And, when full, it represents the best in human generosity and the doorway to a world of human potential.
Unfortunately, rising food prices have significantly reduced WFP’s ability to fill this cup. In fact, the cup holds significantly less food than it did a year ago.
1. Can I donate food or other supplies?
While we appreciate all efforts to provide support, monetary donations allow for the fastest, most effective delivery of food to those in need. Because of the enormous quantities of food needed for the millions of people WFP feeds each year, WFP generally works only with very large quantities of bulk foodstuffs, such as grains or beans. WFP rarely works with canned foods. Any contributions of food or other supplies must be appropriate for the local diet and culture where they will be used.
Because of these and other factors, it is generally not feasible to accept small donations of food. If your organization is interested in contributing large amounts of food or other supplies, please contact us.
2. Can I volunteer with WFP USA?
To offer your service as a volunteer with WFP USA, please visit the Volunteer section of our website. To date, we have established at least 25 volunteer committees in 16 states across the United States, with more committees pending. Becoming a WFP USA volunteer can mean virtually any type of involvement that fits you best, from holding fundraisers to increasing public awareness to helping in local soup kitchens.
3. How can I help to raise awareness about world hunger?
Raising awareness about the problem of world hunger is a great help in building support for the efforts of WFP and others to address hunger. This might involve writing a letter to the editor or an opinion piece for your local newspaper, contacting your elected representatives and urging them to provide greater support for food aid or just telling your friends and family about WFP and the work it does around the world to help the hungry. The more people who know about the problem of hunger in the world, the more support we can build to reduce global hunger.
4. What is advocacy, and why is it important?
Advocacy draws attention to global hunger and poverty and provides ways for Americans to take action by helping WFP feed hungry people. In addition to private donations, WFP also receives substantial in-kind and monetary support from the United States government. In fact, the United States is WFP’s largest contributor.
Reaching out to elected and appointed officials and informing them of the importance of WFP’s work helps ensure that the U.S. government will continue to support global hunger relief programs. Take action today.
1. How are WFP and WFP USA funded, and where does the money go?
WFP USA is funded through voluntary contributions, grants, matching gifts and special programs. Contributions come from the generosity of corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals.
WFP USA is committed to keeping fundraising expenses as low as possible to maximize the amount available for WFP programs. In 2008, WFP USA’s fundraising costs were 9 percent.
WFP relies entirely on voluntary donations. It is one of the only United Nations agencies that does not receive regular allocations from the U.N. budget.
2. How is my donation used?
WFP is the largest and one of the most efficient humanitarian organizations in the world. At least 93 percent of WFP resources directly support food assistance in the field.
3. Is my donation tax deductible? How do I get a receipt for tax purposes?
Donations to WFP USA are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. In contrast, because WFP is a United Nations agency, donations made directly to WFP are generally not tax deductible for U.S. taxpayers. WFP USA cannot provide tax receipts for gifts made directly to WFP headquarters in Rome or via wfp.org. It is always advisable to check with your own financial or tax advisor.
We acknowledge each donation with a letter that can be used as a tax receipt. If you make your donation online, you will receive the acknowledgment letter immediately; please print it for your records. Donations sent by mail generally are acknowledged within one week.
4. I want to make a donation to a specific country and/or WFP program, but your website does not give me this option.
WFP and WFP USA are committed to keeping operating costs as low as possible to ensure that more funds can be sent to the field. In addition, WFP needs unrestricted funds in order to have the flexibility to respond to sudden disasters and provide food to those most in need at any given time. For this reason, we only accept restricted funds for gifts of $10,000 or more.
5. How can I make an automatically recurring donation?
You can make automatic contributions with your credit or debit card online. How much and how often – monthly, quarterly, annually, etc. – is up to you. You can change the amount or the frequency of your donation at any time. You can set up an automatic contribution.
6. How can I make a donation in memory or in honor of someone?
To make a tribute donation, use our online tribute and memorial form. You can also mail a check to our address. Please be sure to include an email or mailing address for the person being honored if you want that person to receive notification of your donation.
7. What is WFP USA's Tax Identification Number (EIN)?
Our Federal Tax ID Number is 13-3843435. This information is often needed for corporate matching gift programs.
8. Does WFP USA share or sell the names of donors or those on its mailing list?
9. How can I obtain WFP USA's financial information?
Information on WFP USA’s finances can be found in the organization’s IRS Form 990s. Most recent filings can be downloaded in PDF form below. For other available documents, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a written request to:
World Food Program USA
1725 Eye Street, NW, Ste. 510
Washington, DC 20006
You also can find information on obtaining registration/financial details from applicable state agencies.
WFP USA Form 990 - 2011
WFP USA Form 990 - 2010
WFP USA Form 990 - 2009
WFP USA Form 990 - 2008
WFP USA Form 990 - 2007
WFP USA Form 990 - 2006
WFP USA Form 990 - 2005
WFP USA Form 990 - 2004
WFP USA Form 990 - 2003
10. How can I find out more about WFP USA’s rating from Charity Navigator?
You may visit Charity Navigator’s website and search for “Friends of the World Food Program.” (Please note that Charity Navigator uses the legal names of all charities. WFP USA is the same organization, however, as Friends of the World Food Program.)