Schuette: Food for the Poor Agrees to Pay $300,000 to Settle Allegations of Deceptive Charitable Solicitations

Contact: Andrea Bitely, Megan Hawthorne; 517-373-8060

September 28, 2018

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced his Charitable Trust Section has reached a settlement with Food for the Poor, a large Florida-based charity that solicits nationwide, to settle allegations of deceptive charitable solicitations.

Last December, Schuette alleged that Food for the Poor’s mailings overstated its efficiency when it told donors that “more than 95% of all donations go directly to programs that help the poor.” While denying that its solicitations were deceptive, Food for the Poor has agreed to cease this and other allegedly deceptive language as well as pay $300,000. Of the settlement amount, $175,000 will go to the Food Bank Council of Michigan and $75,000 to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen; both charities distribute food to hungry Michigan families. The remaining $50,000 of the settlement will reimburse the State of Michigan for investigative costs.

“I appreciate Food for the Poor’s willingness to correct its solicitations and resolve this matter,” said Schuette, “and am pleased that settlement proceeds will help hungry families in Michigan. This action and settlement should also serve as a reminder to other charities to review regularly the accuracy of their solicitations.”

The Food Bank Council of Michigan, located in Lansing, will receive $175,000 as part of the settlement. The organization works with regional food banks across the state of Michigan to provide emergency food support to individuals in need throughout the state of Michigan.

“Trust is a precious gift and it is an honor that we cherish at the Food Bank Council of Michigan, said Phil Knight Director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan. “These funds will be used to help Michigan citizens who are struggling with the toxic stress of food insecurity to find some relief and hope through the distribution of healthy nutritious food across our statewide network.”

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen of Detroit will receive $75,000 from the settlement. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen was founded during the Great Depression by Capuchin friar Solanus Casey, who was beatified last year by the Catholic Church. Today, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen has two soup kitchens and a food pantry in the city of Detroit and serves Detroit’s homeless population.

“The Capuchin Franciscan friars will use the funds from this settlement to provide food for those in need and we are grateful for all who have contributed to make this possible, said Br. Jerry Johnson, OFM Cap., executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.”

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