World Food Program USA and Food For The Poor (FFTP) announced a partnership to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean. Present for the announcement on Thursday at the World Food Program’s office in El Salvador were, left to right, Katie Siahkoohi, World Food Program USA’s Senior Manager of Institutional Partnerships; Barron Segar, President and CEO, World Food Program USA; Ed Raine, FFTP President/CEO; Riz Lohdi, Country Director, World Food Program El Salvador; Jodi Benson, Executive Committee, Board of Directors, World Food Program USA; Soledad Santos, Private Sector Partnerships Lead, WFP Regional Bureau of Panama; and Cesar Guevara, FFTP Director of Partnerships. Photo courtesy World Food Program USA

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (April 18, 2024) – World Food Program USA and Food For The Poor (FFTP) are pleased to announce a partnership to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Under this partnership, the first grant will be a pivotal $2 million from Food For The Poor to pilot a project in support of the U.N. World Food Programme’s school meals and nutrition work in El Salvador.  

This first-of-its-kind collaboration will support a nutritional intervention that starts on the farm, strengthening the value chain of local small-scale grain producers to make Biofortik, an iron-fortified nutritional supplement, building capacity and technical skills at the local Biofortik plant, and improving healthy eating habits in schools.  

The partnership brings together the shared values and deep experience of these organizations in the region to improve the health and educational potential of hundreds of thousands of students in El Salvador.  

“This is a particularly exciting project,” said Barron Segar, President and CEO of World Food Program USA. “School feeding is a multisectoral game changer that has proven over decades to improve children’s education, health, and nutrition. We welcome the opportunity to come together with Food For The Poor to positively impact El Salvador’s children and wider communities.”  

Segar continued, “Innovative school meals programs like this can support an entire community by providing an important safety net, strengthening whole food systems, and growing economies in a sustainable way that benefits all.” 

FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said the project in El Salvador will be the first of what is envisioned as a regional partnership with World Food Program USA. 

“The significance of partnerships in combating poverty cannot be overstated. By leveraging our shared values and extensive experience, this collaboration epitomizes the collective strength necessary to effect real change,” Raine said. “Together, we will elevate the well-being and future opportunities of El Salvador’s children and broader communities.” 

The U.N. World Food Programme is the world’s largest provider of school meals, working with communities, governments, and private sector partners to jointly ensure that all primary schoolchildren have access to good quality meals in schools. This grant will benefit around 420,000 students and support around 500 small corn and sorghum producers in western El Salvador to improve crop production quantity and quality, and to commercialize their production at the local Biofortik production plant. 

“The World Food Programme in El Salvador is excited to be the first recipient of support under the newly launched partnership with Food For The Poor and World Food Program USA to improve food security including through school feeding programs, which is a gateway to a better, healthier, and more prosperous future. Safe and nutritious food served in school is one of the best ways of strengthening social protection and is a catalyst for sustainable development – good nutrition is essential for good education,” said Riaz Lodhi, WFP Country Director in El Salvador. 

While El Salvador has improved its food security in recent years, it still faces several challenges, including limited access to food and nutrition, limited job opportunities, and low incomes.  

The U.N. World Food Programme has been working in the country for more than five decades to ensure that all Salvadorans have equal and adequate food and nutrition. WFP’s strategy strengthens food systems by enhancing food production, local consumption, and access to markets that offer healthy products in partnership with the private sector.  

This innovative new partnership will be crucial to helping to meet these goals and improve access to high-quality nutritious foods in schools while building up local economies.  

Since 1996, FFTP has worked in El Salvador through several partners, including New Horizons For The Poor Foundation, Fundación Salvadoreña para la Salud (Salvadorian Foundation for Health), FEPADE (the nonprofit Salvadoran Business Foundation for Educational Development), Ayúdame a Vivir, and Acceso. 

In 2023, FFTP built 70 homes in El Salvador, for a total of 989 homes since inception, providing families living in poverty with safe shelter. The charity also provided more than 3 million meals for needy families in El Salvador in 2023. 

About World Food Program USA 

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., proudly 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. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit

About Food For The Poor 

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit


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