Bread for the World Institute, Inc.

The information on this page was last updated 5/22/2024. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Bread for the World Institute provides nonpartisan policy research and analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. The Institute has been educating opinion leaders, policymakers, and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad since 1975.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Bread for the World
425 3rd Street SW
Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20024


Phone: (800) 822-7323

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 510175510

CEO/President: Rev. Eugene Cho

Chairman: Katherine Pringle

Board size: 34

Founder: Rev. Arthur Simon

Ruling year: 1985

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Bread for the World Institute provides nonpartisan policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. The Institute has been educating opinion leaders, policymakers, and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad since 1975. Bread for the World Institute is a separately-incorporated 501(c)3 organization. Gifts to the Institute are tax-deductible.

The Institute publishes a book-length Hunger Report every year. Each edition focuses on a particular topic and its relationship to the root causes of hunger and malnutrition.

The Institute's current analysis and advocacy areas include:

global hunger and poverty

U.S. hunger and poverty

U.S. populations most impacted by hunger

U.S. international development assistance

global sustainable development goals

maternal / child nutrition

food security and smallholder agriculture


Mission statement

To provide analysis and education on hunger issues in the U.S. and around the world.

Statement of faith

Bread to World expresses its biblical perspective in the following way:

(From Grace at the Table: Ending Hunger in God's World, by David Beckmann and Art Simon. Published by Paulist Press and InterVarsity Press. Copyright 1999 by Bread for the World Institute.)

Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?

If you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
--Isaiah 58:6 & 10 (NRSV)

What the Old Testament says about hunger and poverty
Two main themes run through the Bible concerning hunger. The first is God's providence. The second is our responsibility to take care of the earth and one another. Both themes reflect the will of God that everyone be adequately fed.

These themes emerge in the very first pages of the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures, when God places Adam and Eve in a lush garden with an abundance of food and tells them to replenish the earth and take care of it. The subsequent account of Cain murdering his brother Abel sends the clear message from God that we are our brother's and sister's keeper.

Both themes--God's providence and our responsibility for one another--emerge dramatically in the exodus from Egypt. God's liberation of the Hebrew people from slavery echoes through the entire Old Testament, informing its faith and its ethical instruction. The exodus experience shaped the laws, informed the prophets and became deeply embedded in worship by the Hebrew people.

Over and over the law instructs Israelites to remember the foreigner (i.e., the immigrant), the orphan and the widow--those most vulnerable to hunger and poverty--and ties this instruction to the exodus. Look at Deuteronomy:

When you gather your crops and fail to bring in some of the grain that you have cut, do not go back for it; it is to be left for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. . . . When you have gathered your grapes once, do not go back over the vines a second time; the grapes that are left are for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Never forget that you were slaves in Egypt; that is why I have given you this command. (24:19-22 TEV)

Other laws provided for sharing one-tenth of the harvest with immigrants, orphans and widows (Dt 14:28-29), for lending at no interest to those in need (Ex 22:25), and for the cancellation of debts every seventh year (Dt 15:1-2, 7-11). Every fiftieth year was to be a Year of Jubilee during which property was to be returned to the family of the original owner. The intent of this law, which may never have been carried out, was to prevent the concentration of wealth and make sure that each family had the means to feed itself.

What Old Testament says about justice
The prophets, too, insisted on justice for everyone. Amos, for example, denounced those who trampled on the needy and destroyed the poor in order to gain wealth. He railed against those who lived in luxury while the poor were being crushed.

The prophets' main judgments were leveled against idolatry and social injustice. The living God insists on personal morality and social justice, while idols offer fertility and prosperity without social responsibility.

The Psalms (the hymns of ancient Israel) invite us to celebrate God's justice.

[God] always keeps his promises; he judges in favor of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. (146:6-7 TEV)

Happy are those who are concerned for the poor; the Lord will help them when they are in trouble. (41:1 TEV)

The wisdom literature in the Old Testament expresses the same theme, as these texts from Proverbs indicate:

If you refuse to listen to the cry of the poor, your own cry will not be heard. (21:13 TEV)

Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. [Defend the rights of the poor and needy. (31:8-9 TEV)

Concern for poor, hungry and vulnerable people is pervasive in the Hebrew Scriptures. It flows directly from the revelation of God through the rescue of an enslaved people.

Themes in the New Testament
The New Testament ethic builds on the Hebrew Scriptures. Its teachings emerge from a divine act of salvation--the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because "the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" conquered sin and death for us, we are forgiven, reconciled to God, born anew to be imitators of God, called to sacrificial love for others. Through the gift of eternal life, Jesus sets us free to make the doing of good our purpose in life (Eph 2:8-10).

The nature of the good we are to do is not left in doubt, for we have the example of Jesus himself. He had a special sense of mission to poor and oppressed people--evidence that, in him, the messianic promises were being fulfilled. At the outset of his ministry, Jesus stood up in the synagogue at Nazareth and read from the prophet Isaiah:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. (Lk 4:18-19)

The gospels depict Jesus repeatedly reaching out to those at the bottom of the social pyramid--poor people, women, Samaritans, lepers, children, prostitutes and tax collectors. Jesus was also eager to accept people who were well-placed, but he made clear that all, regardless of social position, needed to repent. For this reason he invited the rich young lawyer to sell all of his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor.

In his portrayal of the day of judgment, Jesus pictured people from all nations gathered before him. To the "sheep" he says, "Come you blessed of my Father, for I was hungry and you fed me. . . ." In their astonishment they ask, "When did we do that?" And he answers, "When you did it to the lowliest of my brothers (and sisters)." Conversely, to the "goats" he says, "Out of my sight, you who are condemned, for I was hungry and you did not feed me. . . ." (Mt 25:31-46, paraphrased)

Clearly, in both Old and New Testaments the intention of God that all people find a place at the table is combined with a responsibility on our part for those who are most vulnerable, those most often kept from the table. This intention flows from the heart of God, who reaches out in love to all of us--rich, poor and in between.

What Scripture says about advocacy
Churches are already doing a lot to take care of hungry people directly through charity work. By one estimate, religious congregations give $7 billion each year (about one-seventh of their total revenue) to people in need (New York Times, 3 February 1995). But Christians devote much less effort to influencing what governments do.

God, however, requires both charity and justice, and justice can often be achieved only through the mechanism of government. The view that nations, as well as individuals, will be judged by the way they treat the weakest and most vulnerable among them is deeply embedded in the witness of prophets such as Isaiah, who said:

How terrible it will be for those who make unfair laws, and those who write laws that make life hard for people. They are not fair to the poor, and they rob my people of their rights. They allow people to steal from widows and to take from orphans what really belongs to them. (Is 10:1-2 NCV)

Jesus criticized and disobeyed laws when they got in the way of helping people. He healed people on the Sabbath, for example, even though all work was prohibited on the Sabbath. Religion and government were intermixed, so Jesus was challenging the law of the land. The threat Jesus posed to both religious and political authorities led to his crucifixion.

Government is not the only or always the best instrument to deal with hunger. But it is one of the institutions created by God--part of God's providence--for the welfare of people. Because we live in a democracy, a nation with a government "of the people," we have a special privilege and responsibility to use the power of our citizenship to promote public justice and reduce hunger.

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Advocacy

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating415 of 111013 of 42
Fund acquisition rating424 of 111113 of 42
Resource allocation rating93 of 11114 of 42
Asset utilization rating918 of 111033 of 42

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$954,285$557,994$1,327,147$2,102,910$2,237,691
Short-term investments$5,778,286$5,924,516$5,393,668$4,830,271$4,038,007
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$10,414,710$10,452,992$11,109,196$11,176,688$11,092,694
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$377,343$81,269$111,126$496,879$424,653
Other long-term assets$3,035,145$237,515$237,515$237,515$282,982
Total long-term assets$3,412,488$318,784$348,641$734,394$707,635
Total assets$13,827,198$10,771,776$11,457,837$11,911,082$11,800,329
Payables and accrued expenses$52,911$127,109$264,823$125,606$97,912
Other current liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total current liabilities$52,911$127,109$264,823$125,606$97,912
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$5,773,947$1,501,473$1,918,953$2,124,953$891,096
Total long-term liabilities$6,616,591$2,373,811$2,791,253$2,124,953$891,096
Total liabilities$6,669,502$2,500,920$3,056,076$2,250,559$989,008
Net assets20222021202020192018
Without donor restrictions$4,268,573$5,786,683$4,705,334$5,462,907$7,353,922
With donor restrictions$2,889,123$2,484,173$3,696,427$4,197,616$3,457,399
Net assets$7,157,696$8,270,856$8,401,761$9,660,523$10,811,321
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$5,271,104$3,625,923$4,450,734$5,331,172$6,393,143
Program service revenue$3,450$0$125$4,972$0
Membership dues$1,000,495$1,205,493$1,043,555$931,846$1,002,370
Investment income$282,274$205,907$284,177$309,196$248,780
Other revenue$9,037$873,747$102,129$64,590$3,442
Total other revenue$1,295,256$2,285,147$1,429,986$1,310,604$1,254,592
Total revenue$6,566,360$5,911,070$5,880,720$6,641,776$7,647,735
Program services$5,893,482$5,863,789$6,749,402$7,411,008$6,513,414
Management and general$350,305$287,767$343,765$327,362$424,889
Total expenses$6,566,622$6,513,315$7,428,966$8,213,900$7,288,665
Change in net assets20222021202020192018
Surplus (deficit)($262)($602,245)($1,548,246)($1,572,124)$359,070
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($262)($602,245)($1,548,246)($1,572,124)$359,070


Eugene ChoPresident$361,476
Delma PlummerVP Finance & Administration$237,736
Larisa FriesenVP Development$221,562
Heather TaylorManaging Director$220,736
Heather ValentineDirector, Government Relations$195,818
Jeffrey NelsonDirector, Finance$177,586
Edward KaufholzDirector, Communication$168,339
Matthew GrossDirector, Organizing$162,049
Nancy NealMinister,Spiritual Formation$147,681
Gail Smith-GlissController$139,608

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2022

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 5/22/2024. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


In the 1970s, Rev. Art Simon, the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church on New York City's Lower East Side, often found himself responding to emergency situations caused by hunger and poverty in his neighborhood.

Simon, along with a dozen other church leaders in the area - Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, and Lutherans - began meeting to explore how they might address the local and global root causes of hunger. They saw a place for Christians to try to prevent hunger from happening in the first place rather than just reacting to it. In 1974, this group founded Bread for the World with the mission of ending hunger in the world by speaking out to their elected officials in Washington, D.C.

From the very start, Bread has been a group effort. Its success has been made possible only because people of faith seized the opportunity to reach out to our nation's decision makers for action against hunger.

"We began with a tiny seed of an idea, but the seed had life and, when planted, God gave growth," recalls Simon.

Bread's grassroots network was born with the launch of Project 500 - an effort to recruit and train 500 advocates. Many of those early advocates remain active Bread members today. And this network, which has grown exponentially since then, remains the engine of the organization.

Bread launched its first large-scale letter writing campaign, the Offering of Letters, in 1975 - on the right to food. Despite having fewer than 10,000 members at the time, Bread was able to generate more than 100,000 letters to Congress on this issue because its active members invited their fellow church members to participate.

The landmark Right to Food Resolution, passed overwhelmingly by Congress, states: "...the United States reaffirms the right of every person in this country and throughout the world to food and a nutritionally adequate diet...."

Four decades later, this simple, brilliant idea - the Offering of Letters - remains one of Bread's core organizing strategies. It is still Bread's signature campaign and is an annual occurrence that Bread members look forward to every year.

Over the years, Bread's Offering of Letters and other campaigns have won far-reaching changes for hungry and poor people. Bread's members have written millions of letters to their members of Congress.

In 1991, Rev. David Beckmann succeeded Simon as president. Also a Lutheran pastor, Beckmann had worked for 15 years at the World Bank. Under his leadership, Bread has become increasingly more prominent, with a significantly bigger membership, budget, and staff.

On July 1, 2020, Rev. Eugene Cho succeeded Beckmann as president. Cho, an Evangelical Christian, is the founder and visionary of One Day's Wages - a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty. He is also the founder and former Senior Pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, Washington.

Bread has also branched out over the years, establishing two affiliates:

Bread for the World Institute, established in 1975, provides policy analysis on hunger and strategies to end it. Each year since 1990, the Institute has published a highly regarded Hunger Report, an authoritative analysis of hunger trends and a resource for hunger statistics.

The Alliance to End Hunger, established in 2001, engages diverse organizations-including Jewish and Muslim groups, charities, universities, and corporations-to build the public and political will to end hunger at home and abroad.

Program accomplishments

Since our founding in 1974, Bread has achieved many victories. Through nonpartisan political engagement, we've helped strengthen national nutrition programs, drastically reducing hunger in the U.S. We've also advocated to strengthen and improve U.S. international assistance, thus supporting the dramatic progress against hunger that many countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have achieved. This progress shows that it is possible to end hunger in our lifetime, in the U.S. and abroad. The policies and programs Bread fights for have impacted 320 million Americans and more than 7 billion people around the world.