The Feed Foundation claims to combat hunger and malnutrition around the world. But an investigation of online reviews and complaints reveals alarming accusations – from aggressive fundraising tactics to outright fraud.
This in-depth article analyzes multiple data sources to determine: is The Feed Foundation legit or a scam?
Quick Background of The Feed Foundation
The Feed Foundation was launched in 2008 by Lauren Bush Lauren, model and niece to President George W. Bush. As stated on their website:
“The Feed Foundation is dedicated to supporting programs and organizations that are effectively working to fight hunger and eliminate malnutrition throughout the world.”
The charity was created to fund Lauren’s “social enterprise” FEED Projects, which sells fashion accessories and donates part of the proceeds to charity.
So what’s the problem? Isn’t fighting global hunger a noble cause?
On the surface, The Feed Foundation checks some boxes:
- Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit
- Clear mission statement
- Support from celebrity founder
But when we dig deeper into financial transparency, organizational efficiency, and impact… red flags appear.
Follow the Money: Lack of Financial Disclosure
Charity watchdogs agree: legitimate nonprofits should publicly share their IRS Form 990. This discloses key financial data like:
- Total annual revenue
- Salaries of directors & officers
- Program expenses vs. administrative costs
Form 990 provides assurance that donations truly go toward the cause…not enrichment of founders and executives.
Yet The Feed Foundation does not make its Form 990 available.
Independent charity monitor Charity Navigator gave The Feed Foundation a “0” financial rating due to lack of public reporting.
Without financial transparency, donors have no idea if their dollars actually reach hungry families or line the pockets of Bush-Lauren and staff.
Aggressive Fundraising Tactics
If a charity is doing good work, why must it harass potential donors with invasive phone calls?
Numerous online complaints report repeated robocalls from The Feed Foundation – often from a variety of spoofed numbers.
For example, one person shared:
“I get up to a dozen calls daily, all from different numbers. I answer and there is silence on the line until they hang up.”
While aggressive fundraising could be excused if funding life-saving programs, The Feed Foundation won’t disclose where the money goes.
This bombardment of potential donors seems more indicative of a questionable operation than a humanitarian one.
International Programs: More Mysteries
The Feed Foundation claims to fund feeding programs across over 60 countries including Guatemala, Rwanda, and Yemen.
But visitors to their website find no data about current initiatives or measurable impact.
Generally reputable international aid groups like Doctors Without Borders provide detailed reports on funding disbursement and effectiveness of supported programs. Such transparency instills confidence in donors.
Meanwhile, The Feed Foundation offers only vague generalities about “empowering communities” – with no specifics or evidence.
This lack of documented global impact raises suspicion. If they have successfully fed millions abroad, why hide the details?
Reviews Expose “Scam” and “Fraud”
One of the most telling sources exposing The Feed Foundation are outsider reviews from various charity monitoring sites.
GreatNonprofits.org publishes crowdsourced reviews “written by volunteers, donors, and those served by the organization.”
One representative review titled Scam Artists stated:
“These calls originate from other countries. When you try to call them back, you can NOT speak to an actual person…They should be investigated and shut down.”
Another review labeled them Fraudulent Mooches:
“Gang scams with brutal tactics…The planet is sick of you!”
Harsh criticisms echo through dozens of reviews:
- “A joke charity operating a robocall scheme.”
- “No evidence they perform actual charitable work.”
- “Just a donate button and some scam images.”
- ” DOES NOT EXIST in the real world…DO NOT DONATE.”
These scorching critiques certainly don’t describe a valid charitable operation.
No Accountability: Disregard for Standards
To maintain tax-exempt status, all registered 501(c)(3) nonprofits must comply with annual IRS filing requirements.
Form 990 discloses an organization’s key details including contact information, leadership names, total annual revenue, expenses breakdown, etc.
This reporting is mandatory, yet GuideStar – the premier database tracking US nonprofits – has no filings on record for The Feed Foundation.
Their blatant defiance regarding transparency standards begets the question: What are they hiding?
No legitimate charity could justify ignoring IRS rules for over a decade of existence.
The Feed Foundation Scam Calls: Conclusion
In summary, an extensive analysis of The Feed Foundation raises disturbing red flags:
- Refusal to disclose IRS-mandated financial details
- Questionable international programs with no documented outcomes
- Barrage of unsolicited calls harassing potential donors
- Scathing accusations of fraud from public reviews
While founder Lauren Bush Lauren likely envisioned an effective charity when launching her nonprofit – the current incarnation of The Feed Foundation reveals widespread abuses.
Rather than focusing on meaningful global impact, the organization seems to prioritize aggressive fundraising tactics for unspecified means.
Until they start respecting standards regarding transparency and reporting…donors should steer clear of this highly dubious charity.
For those seeking legitimate nonprofits supporting hunger relief efforts, food banks and associations like Feeding America maintain excellent charity standing based on ethics, efficiency and tangible community impact.
While judicious donors must draw their own conclusions, I believe the overwhelming evidence speaks for itself. When evaluating The Feed Foundation, one question looms largest:
If this charity truly created positive change abroad, why the secrecy regarding its inner workings?
Lack of transparency equals lack of trust…signifying donations are better directed to honest groups upholding values of integrity and accountability.
Based on extensive data analysis into their ethical deficiencies – I must classify The Feed Foundation as a questionable charity bordering on outright scam. Those looking to make a difference should focus giving efforts on transparent organizations doing verifiable good works.