Our Story

Over the past eight years, FTHF has made over 5,000 loans to small food entrepreneurs in California, Hawaii, and several countries in Asia and Latin America. Our loans enable borrowers to create or expand businesses that grow their community's local food system.

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Since 2008, Feed The Hunger Foundation has been empowering historically marginalized communities by providing the tools and access to capital that allow them to participate fully in their community's food economy. Our organization was founded on the belief that poverty is not inevitable and that everyone should have the opportunity to live with respect, dignity, and hope. Our particular concern is to ensure that the most marginalized individuals in society are not forgotten. To accomplish this, FTHF joined the movement to provide small business loans to low-income individuals and small businesses. Because of their economic or social status, these people have traditionally lacked access to affordable financial services. Loans give them the opportunity to start or expand small businesses with the goal of lifting themselves out of poverty.

Research and historical data have shown that despite being considered high risk because of their lack of collateral, microfinance clients have very high repayment rates, averaging between 95 ad 98 percent. And while microfinance institutions have only just begun to methodically collect baseline numbers on social performance, there is ample anecdotal evidence of the power of microfinance to change lives.

FTHF pursues a vision of a world without poverty, where all people have sufficient food and economic opportunities to be able to lead lives of respect and dignity. By empowering those who dream of creating a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities, we can make this vision a reality.

Notable Quotes

 

“Our mission is to alleviate hunger and poverty through small business lending, to make sure that communities who often fall thru through the cracks and who are invisible are elevated through the work of Feed The Hunger Foundation.

There’s something about food security that addresses people’s fundamental need to thrive and have dignity in their lives – food security gives them hope, and it goes way beyond food. It’s a way to secure families and communities and ensure there’s livelihood that will sustain them through the next generation.” 

- Cristina Regalado, Board President

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“Feed The Hunger Foundation does cultural translation between the people who know how to work and those who have capital and other resources. As a child who knew hunger, I learned that ‘hunger’ is not simply about needing food. It’s also about needing to be seen, and the hunger of needing good work.

What intrigues me about Feed The Hunger Foundation is bringing capital into small communities, and to people with big dreams who may not know how to negotiate in the world of finance. We help people learn those skills.”

-Puanani Burgess, Cultural Translator

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“I'm Geri Yang-Johnson. Vice President and Community Relations Senior Consultant for Wells Fargo Bank. I do community development banking in 12 counties in California. I have the pleasure of looking at all the resources that we have available here at Wells Fargo and finding solutions for low to moderate income families in the communities that we serve.

We are excited about working with organizations that provide loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs like Feed The Hunger Foundation. Wells Fargo partners by working with organizations that provide technical assistance or capital to small businesses.

These are the kinds of services my parents needed when they first came to the Central Valley. They were among the first wave of Southeast Asian immigrants that moved into the Valley in the ‘60’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s. Many of these immigrants were farmers and growers in their former homelands in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. In the Central Valley they found a bountiful land, and many went right into working in the fields.

My parents grew things like chili, lemon grass and water spinach. All of my aunties and uncles were engaged in that work too. Many of the Southeast Asian women were not only farmers, but they were also raising their families, trying to get their kids to school, and trying to learn and assimilate into the local culture. Out in the fields they were learning how to work with land that was very different from what they knew in their own homeland. And they were learning how to start businesses at the same time. It was very hard for them to get into farmers markets or mainstream markets. The women helped each other bring their produce to the markets. It would have made such a difference for them to have had the help of an organization like Feed The Hunger Foundation to learn how to get their produce into the Asian markets.”

- Geri Yang, VP & Community Relations Senior Consultant for Wells Fargo Bank