World Food Program Receives $32 Million From Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a $32 million donation to World Food Program USA (WFP-USA) in support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)’s operations to combat the global food crisis.

It is the largest private sector donation World Food Program USA has ever received and the largest donation The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made to any humanitarian organization to date.

All funds will be used abroad, not in the U.S. The U.N. World Food Programme will use the donation to provide food assistance (both in-kind and food vouchers), school meals, specialized nutritious food and nutrition counseling for malnourished children, pregnant and nursing mothers, girls and people living with HIV/TB. It will support 1.6 million people across nine countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, according to information from WFP-USA.

“We are so grateful to collaborate with the World Food Programme because we know they will get food to those who need it most,” said Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric. “And we thank Latter-day Saints and friends of the faith whose financial sacrifices have made this gift possible. Such giving makes God’s children a little happier and all of us a little holier.” 

WFP Executive Director David Beasley said via a statement: “This extraordinary donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could not come at a more critical time. With millions of people starving today, WFP is working hard to deliver food, help and hope — and this life-saving contribution allows us to do just that.”

As a global food crisis of unprecedented proportions forces millions more into hunger, WFP’s work alongside governments and partners is a critical lifeline for many. In Somalia, for example, WFP is scaling up humanitarian assistance to record levels in order to avert projected famine. In Yemen, WFP’s food assistance has reached more than half of the country’s population and kept hunger at bay in recent years. Meanwhile, millions of families rely on the organization’s food, nutrition and livelihood support in Afghanistan, according to information from WFP-USA.

“At this time of unprecedented global need, we are grateful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s transformational gift,” said World Food Program USA President and CEO Barron Segar. “Private sector support is critical to our mission, enabling WFP to scale food assistance and resilience work that brings families stability and comfort during these challenging times. I am confident that the Church’s gift will inspire others to join our movement to end global hunger.”

Said Ute Klamert, WFP deputy executive director, partnerships and advocacy, via the statement: “We accept this generous donation with gratitude and firm confidence in our ability to use it to deliver for the most vulnerable. Reaching them in their time of need, helping lift them out of harm’s way, so they can survive and build resilience.”

A record 345 million people face acute food insecurity with 50 million on the brink of famine around the world, according to data from the WFP. Some 60 million children are at risk of being acutely malnourished by the end of 2022. The worldwide ripple effect of the war in Ukraine, compounded by widespread conflict, extreme climate and the socio-economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, is pushing already vulnerable people into utter desperation.

“My heart rejoices for the millions of malnourished children who will benefit from this donation,” added Sister Camille N. Johnson, global leader of the faith’s Relief Society, an organization for women. “Jesus has a tender heart for children. He weeps to see them starve. And He rejoices at even the smallest effort to help them. A huge thanks to the World Food Programme and to all who contribute in any way to this cause.”

The Church of Jesus Christ’s collaboration with WFP began in 2014. Recently, the two organizations worked together to fill hunger gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

WFP-USA is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. WFP-USA President & CEO Barron Segar was recently included in The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50.

The organization reported 2021 revenue of $61.4 million, more than double the $30.2 million raised during 2020. The check today exceeds all revenue from 2020. Of a reported $53.1 million in expenses for 2021, WFP-USA reported $643,748 was reported for general and administrative expenses.

*** Photo Caption *** Bishop L. Todd Budge of the Presiding Bishopric presented the grant to World Food Program USA President and CEO Barron Segar and WFP Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships and Advocacy Ute Klamert.