Animated pic to illustrate food insecurity.
The Citi Foundation has $25 million ready to distribute to nonprofits fighting global food insecurity. Photo: Pixabay.

Citi Foundation declares global challenge to combat food insecurity

The initiative wants to empower nonprofit organizations against food insecurity.


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The Citi Foundation recently announced its first 'Global Innovation Challenge' to help scale the impact of nonprofits around the world developing innovative solutions to food insecurity.

The inaugural challenge, which will provide a collective $25 million to 50 organizations, wants to support the expansion of projects designed to address the issue and strengthen the physical and financial health of low-income families and communities.

Brandee McHale, president of the Citi Foundation and head of Citi Community Investing and Development, said:

Far too many families around the world face the daily struggle of not knowing when and where their next meal will come from.

Addressing food insecurity

According to a recent study by Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (GPS), which took into account record food prices and other macroeconomic factors that have led to civil unrest and global displacement, more than 770 million people worldwide suffer some kind of malnutrition — a phenomenon with an impact on the global economy that could reach $3.5 billion per year, or close to $500 for every person on the planet.

“We understand the economic factors that contribute to this ever-growing crisis, and our goal with this RFP is to help empower diverse, mission-driven nonprofits that are pioneering game-changing, scalable solutions in their communities,” added McHale.


For the RFP, the Citi Foundation will prioritize projects in four areas:

  1. Access: Supporting efforts that increase access to affordable and healthy food for low-income communities.
  2. Affordability: Improving food affordability through community finance efforts that help reduce the financial burden placed on low-income communities.
  3. Availability: Addressing challenges in the food supply chain that lead to positive community benefits, such as the creation of new jobs and businesses.
  4. Resilience: Increasing the number of available resources that enable low-income communities to more effectively prepare for and respond to disruptions in food security during crises.

"The food security crisis is one of the most urgent issues our world is facing today. Having proudly partnered with Citi for over 10 years, we have seen first-hand the positive impact the Citi Foundation has had helping lift underserved communities out of poverty. This global initiative is going to provide much needed funding to industrious organizations working to combat food scarcity with the innovative solutions we desperately need,” noted Liza Henshaw, president of Global Citizen. 

Citi milestones

The first Global Innovation Challenge builds on the story of Citi and its Foundation supporting efforts to improve food safety:

  • Citi and Citi Foundation’s support has helped No Kid Hungry provide 300 million meals for kids facing hunger since 2014.
  • Citi volunteers have packed over 1.7 million meals on behalf of U.S. Hunger since 2017.
  • In 2020 during the height of the pandemic, the Foundation supported the Global FoodBanking Network’s COVID-19 relief efforts across Central and South America.
  • In Asia, the Foundation’s support for Think City in 2020 helped them partner with four community organizations in Malaysia to ensure vulnerable populations received food and medical supplies.
  • Most recently in Europe, financial support from the Foundation helped Crown Agents International Development purchase and deliver nutritional support for premature infants in Ukraine amid the current war with Russia.

The deadline to register is March 22, 2023 at 4 p.m. EDT. To learn more about this opportunity, including eligibility requirements and target geographies, click here.


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