Jamaica | Feb 27, 2023

Food For The Poor mourns founder Ferdinand Mahfood

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Ferdinand Mahfood with Pope John Paul II.

Ferdinand ‘Ferdy’ Mahfood, co-founder of Food for the Poor, has died.

He was 85.

Mahfood died peacefully on Sunday, surrounded by his family.

The family, in a statement, said: “Our family, while we mourn the passing of Ferdy, we rejoice in his life and his founding of Food For The Poor, which has benefitted hundreds of thousands of recipients in the Caribbean and Latin America. Ferdy is now right where he always wanted to be, with our Lord God in Heaven.”

Ferdinand Mahfood. (Photo: Palm Beach Post)

Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine expressed his profound sadness over the loss of Mahfood and said he leaves behind a legacy of love and compassion for the poor.

“He planted the seeds when he answered God’s call,” Raine said.

“We are honoured to continue following this call more than 40 years later.”


Moved by the poverty he witnessed firsthand in Jamaica, Mahfood, along with brothers Sam, Joe, and Robin, established Food For The Poor in Florida on February 12, 1982.

He said his religious conversion in 1976 was the inspiration behind the founding of the charity. He emphasised in an earlier interview the collaborative nature and the selflessness that are still the core values of the organisation.

“The organisation was started by four brothers, so it’s not just Ferdinand Mahfood’s efforts, it’s the efforts of the four brothers and all their children, and that is what has built it, and kept it together.”

As the charity expanded, Ferdy and his wife, Patty, traveled throughout the Caribbean, bringing resources to countless people in need.

FFTP officially launched its operation in Jamaica in June 1983 and created a model that the organisation would later replicate in other parts of the Caribbean and Latin America.

Ferdinand Mahfood visits Cité Soleil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in the 1980s.

Mahfood’s goal for the families and children served by the charity was that they break free from the cycle of poverty. He believed that education and self-help must fortify charity work to make a true difference. To this end, Food For The Poor began to support programmes that taught recipients how to raise livestock and develop small businesses; it also provided agricultural assistance to independent farmers, work that continues today.

Food For The Poor will announce in the near future how the charity will honour his memory.

Food For The Poor, an 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 in 19 countries across the Caribbean and Latin America.


What To Read Next