Our Year in Review: World Food Program USA’s Top 10 Moments of 2021

Photo: WFP/Claire Nevill
World Food Program USA
Published January 25, 2022

2021 was a whirlwind, landmark year for World Food Program USA. From breaking fundraising records to welcoming new celebrity ambassadors into the fold, there was never a slow moment.

Take a look through our year in review to see our values in action and how our work is only possible because of your support, your activism and your optimism.

We Solidified Our Spot as a Trusted, Expert Non-Profit

1) Our President and CEO Barron Segar was named to the Nonprofit Times Power & Influence Top 50

Last August, we were proud to congratulate our president on being selected to the annual list of 50 movers and shakers in the nonprofit sector. Selection was based on leadership around “innovation, influence on the broader sector and for developing organizational models that can be replicated.”

2) We received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

In November, our team was elated to be awarded a 4-star Exceptional rating from Charity Navigator, the highest designation from the world’s largest evaluator of nonprofits. The top-notch rating indicates that World Food Program USA “exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause” and assures audiences that they can give to us with confidence.

“World Food Program USA is in the business of saving lives, and it is our hope that this 4-star rating encourages more donors to join our movement to end hunger and create food security for all people,” said Randy Russell, World Food Program USA Board Chairman.

3) THE $6 BILLION F-WORD: Our proposed panel for South by Southwest (SXSW) was accepted

“They say life is priceless and yet there is a cost to save these lives: $6 billion dollars.” For the first time in our history, we will be hosting a panel discussion at one of the world’s premier events: SXSW. Our speakers will give an inside look into how WFP fights famine and the cutting-edge innovations it sources to solve hunger.

We Saw the Life-Changing Impact of Our Supporters

4) You donated $3 million dollars to feed the people of southern Madagascar

We watched in wonder as donations flooded in following ABC News’ David Muir’s report on a famine in southern Madagascar driven almost entirely by climate. The remarkable response touched all of us at World Food Program USA and invigorated our work with proof once again of the potential and power of our supporters.

5) You helped raise $250,000 for WFP’s Haiti earthquake relief efforts

woman in green shirt and blue headband
Photo: WFP/Marianela Gonzalez/2021

When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit southwestern Haiti on August 14, we were able to donate a quarter million dollars to support critical relief efforts. Our corporate partner, the UPS Foundation, contributed $100,000 of the donation on top of providing transportation and logistics support for the emergency response.

We Welcomed New Ambassadors and Learned From Other Hunger Experts

6) Ladies and gentlemen, The Weeknd: Abel Tesfaye became a Goodwill Ambassador

From donating 2 million meals to being named a Goodwill Ambassador, The Weeknd consistently used his global stardom to spotlight and support our work in 2021. We officially welcomed the Multi-platinum and Diamond certified global superstar into the WFP family in October 2021, and the best of our partnership is yet to come.

7) Celebrity chef and food waste champion Andrew Zimmern named Goodwill Ambassador

man in brown suit and glasses poses for photo
Photo: Drew Gurian Photography

After years of supporting WFP, the Emmy- and four-time James Beard Award- winning chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate Andrew Zimmern also joined the WFP family as a Goodwill Ambassador. Armed with dry-wit and a passion for food waste education, Zimmern used his voice to advocate for global and local hunger solutions.

8) US Against Hunger convened leading experts on food systems and the drivers of hunger

With ace moderator Femi Oke at the helm, our US Against Hunger series put global hunger experts in the hotseat to discuss pressing issues like the intersection of food insecurity and gender inequity, and the impacts of climate change on hunger. From learning about the “sticky floor” from Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan to the power of eating “ugly food” from WFP Goodwill Ambassador Andrew Zimmern, this panel series was one for the books.

We Grew Our Leadership and Team to Reach New Milestones

9) Welcome aboard: New members joined our distinguished Board of Directors

In 2021, we were honored to have three new members join our Board of Directors:

  • Scott Price, president of UPS International
  • Rima Fakih Slaiby, Lebanese-American philanthropist, humanitarian and global hunger advocate
  • Bill Dietz, president of Heartland Produce Co. in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Our Board used their experience and expertise to shepherd World Food Program USA through this monumental year.

10) The sky’s the limit: Fundraising figures and the size of our staff reached record levels

We closed out a record-breaking fiscal year, raising 102 percent more money than in 2020 and raised more in the last quarter of 2021 than we have in 27 years. This success would not have been possible without your support and the dedication of our ever-growing team. By the end of 2021, we added over 20 new staff members.

For World Food Program USA, 2021 will go down in history as a year of historic growth. Through the excitement of fundraising records and celebrity partnerships, our team remained grounded by the mission of our work: to do everything in our power to create a world without hunger.