Mission & History

World Food Program USA carries on America’s proud legacy of fighting global hunger.

Fighting Global Hunger

Over the course of seven decades, the U.S. government and its people have led the global fight against hunger. It’s a legacy built upon a proud and loud declaration that America will do its part to feed families in need around the world.

Fighting hunger is part of America’s DNA

1949

Truman Launches the Marshall Plan

Seventy years ago, President Harry S. Truman used the first ever televised presidential address to talk about war and hunger. As families in Europe faced food shortages after the Second World War, he called upon Americans to boost the European continent’s recovery with the help of U.S. food aid. Harry Truman presided over one of the most considerable foreign aid and reconstruction projects in the history of the United States, launching the Marshall plan, an investment of $15 billion dollars ($100 billion in today’s dollars) in rebuilding the European economy in the aftermath of the war.

Photo: The New York Times

1960

World Food Programme is Founded

In September 1960, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposes to the UN General Assembly that a “workable scheme should be devised for providing food aid through the UN system.” The idea leads to the founding of the World Food Programme.

Photo: WFP

1961

Multilateral Food Aid Program

In April, 1961, George McGovern (right), director of the U.S. Food for Peace Program, proposes establishing a multilateral food aid program with a fund of $100 million in commodities and cash on a three-year experimental basis. On November 24th, 1961, a United Nations General Assembly resolution officially establishes the U.N. World Food Programme as a joint UN and FAO undertaking.

Photo: WFP

1983

Famine in Ethiopia Inspires “Live Aid” Concert and USA for Africa’s “We Are the World”

The U.N. World Food Programme delivers 2 million tons of aid after the worst famine in 100 years hits Ethiopia. U.N. World Food Programme responds as stark images of starvation leap from headlines and broadcasts around the world. The outcry prompts fundraising efforts “Band Aid” and “Live Aid”. Between 1983 and 1985, the U.N. World Food Programme mounts 87 separate relief operations delivering a total of 2 million tons of assistance.

Photo: WFP/D Crai

1992

WFP’s First Woman Director: Catherine Bertini

In April 1992, Catherine Bertini (from the United States) serves as the ninth Executive Director of the U.N. World Food Programme from April 1992 to April 2002. Ms Bertini is the first woman to head a United Nations organization.

Photo: WFP

1995

“Friends of WFP” is Incorporated in the USA

Friends of WFP, Inc. was incorporated on July 12, 1995 in the USA, forming its first board of directors. Its mission was to rally support among U.S. lawmakers for the U.N. World Food Programme.

1997

“Friends of WFP” Begins Private Sector Partnerships in USA

In 1997, a system was established to receive and account for private sector contributions to support the mission of the U.N. World Food Programme.

Photo: WFP/Bruno Djoyo

2002

McGovern & Dole Start School Meals Program

Anti-hunger champions, Senators George McGovern and Bob Dole, transformed how the U.S. feeds the most vulnerable among us. They were united in the belief that no child should suffer from hunger. Thanks to their efforts, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program was established in 2002, and has since grown into a global school meals program that has fed more than 44 million children in 41 countries.

2007

Friends of WFP Becomes World Food Program USA

In 2007, Friends of WFP, Inc. changed its name to World Food Program, Inc. (DBA World Food Program USA).

Present Day

WFP USA Continues to Fight Global Hunger and Build Strong Support for WFP in the U.S.

World Food Program USA (WFP USA) is a U.S.-based non-profit organization dedicated to building support within the U.S. for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). It is headquartered in Washington, DC. The President & CEO reports to a Board of Directors comprised of leaders who are committed to supporting the organization’s efforts to help alleviate global hunger.

Photo: WFP/Leni Kinzli
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Our Vision

A world without hunger.

Our Mission

To inspire and mobilize people in the United States to support the mission of the U.N. World Food Programme to end hunger.

Our Purpose

World Food Program USA is a catalyst for fundraising, advocacy and engagement across the United States in support of the U.N. World Food Programme’s mission to end hunger. When you join us, you provide food and long-lasting solutions for people worldwide. We won’t stop until we reach zero hunger.

Our Values

Our values provide the framework for how we behave and work together to reach our goals to feed and save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Photo: WFP/Mehedi Rahman

We Believe in a World Without Hunger

  • Where children have the proper nutrition for a healthy start to life.
  • Where families have access to food even when natural disaster strikes or conflict erupts.
  • Where farmers grow enough food to feed themselves and participate in markets.
  • Where nations have the ability to respond in times of crisis.
  • Where Americans work together to alleviate conditions that perpetuate chronic hunger.
  • Where food enables every human being to reach their potential.

    How we fight global hunger

    Through policy leadership, fundraising and strategic outreach, we persuade the American people, business community and government to support the U.N. World Food Programme and join our movement to feed the world.

    Developing and Advocating Policy

    We develop and advocate for policies that foster a comprehensive approach to promoting global food security and that help ensure that the U.S. government continues to lead the world in fighting and eradicating hunger.

    U.S. Government Funding

    We work to secure robust U.S. government financial commitment toward fighting and eradicating hunger, including strong support to the UN World Food Programme, the largest hunger-fighting organization in the world.

    Private Sector Fundraising

    We offer a direct channel for corporations, foundations and individuals to provide assistance in the form of financial donations, employee engagement, in-kind donations and technical assistance to support WFP operations.

    Marketing and Communications

    We design, integrate and execute a broad range of public relations, marketing and communications activities that promote, enhance, and protect WFP USA’s reputation, and positively position WFP USA and WFP in the U.S.

    Join Our Mission to End Hunger

    Join us in creating a Zero Hunger world. You can help save lives by donating to send food to people who need it most.