Our Founder
Larry Ward
In September of 1970, Larry Ward submitted his resignation to the board of directors at World Vision, forfeiting his salary and perceived stability to answer God’s call on his heart for starving people all over the globe. In 1971, he founded Food for the Hungry (FH), becoming the first president of the organization. Ward’s character and commitment to vulnerable people around the world has become the pillars on which FH was built and still stands today.

Hard Places:
Ward’s early years at FH made it quite clear that his focus was on the most vulnerable people in the hardest places. He was drawn to the people who were affected by disaster and crisis situations. He intentionally sought out those who were suffering and needed the most help. His early years with FH were spent airlifting food into Bangladesh, serving on the FH Mercy Ship in the South China Sea and responding to earthquakes in Managua, Nicaragua and Guatemala. He advocated for rape victims and helped leaders put disaster risk plans in place. He never deemed a place too hopeless or too far. Going to the hard places is still a large part of what propels and motivates FH’s work today.

Social Justice:
Ward often said that his study of scripture convinced him that God’s love not only reaches out to the whole world, but to the whole man. God cares about every aspect of our lives. Larry’s Bible was marked with the letters ‘SJ’ in the margins next to scriptures that that he believed to instruct towards social justice, which Ward felt was the bedrock of what FH was out to do.


Ward cared about people so deeply that he made extreme sacrifices for the benefit of others. He often went without a salary and even mortgaged his home to purchase the very boat that rescued Vietnamese refugees from the South China Sea. He was concerned about the next generation’s plight of the poor, and he was known for his great ability to listen. His focus on relationships was core to his ability to understand the unique needs of the people he sought to help, as well as the importance of his collaboration with local leaders and governments, both of which are vital to the current operations of FH.

One at a Time:

One day, right after Ward had dedicated himself to feed starving people, he found himself overwhelmed at the tens of thousands of people who were dying each day from starvation and malnutrition, and it weighed heavily on his soul. Ward prayed, “But Father. What can I do? I am only one person.” His answer came as clearly as an audible voice. “But they die one at a time my son. They die one at a time.”

With a humble heart and a bowed head, Ward prayed, “Thank you Lord. If they die one at a time, then we can help them one at a time.”

And he did.

An expanded look at the life and legacy of Dr. Larry Ward can be found in “One at a Time: The Life, Passion, and Ongoing Global Impact of Larry Ward”.

Download “One at a Time” for Free