Food For Thought

Healing with food + love

Forestville, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Food For Thought

EIN: 68-0181095


Food For Thought's mission is to foster health and healing with food and compassion.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ron Karp

Main address

6550 Railroad Avenue

Forestville, CA 95436 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info


Food aid

Population served info

People with diseases and illnesses

NTEE code info

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

AIDS (G81)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

One of the most significant basic human needs in our community is the lack of access to healthy food, which results in poor health outcomes as well as high health care costs. There are many members of our community who are suffering from serious illnesses who are food insecure. Without proper nutrition, these vulnerable community members will not be able to heal, remain independent, or be productive members of society. Many studies have demonstrated that food security has a great impact on health and medical cost outcomes, and to date there has to date been little support from public and private institutions to cover nutrition as a component of health care. Food For Thought is poised to act as a safety net for these members of our society, and your support can help us provide lifesaving nutrition services to those who need it most.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Comprehensive Nutrition Program

Food For Thought provides medically-tailored nutrition services to Sonoma County residents facing serious illnesses and food insecurity.

To each client, we provide the following:

- Weekly medically-tailored meals and groceries (enough for 21 meals per week per person)
- County-wide delivery to homebound and homeless clients
- Individual nutrition consultations with our Registered Dietician

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people
Pregnant people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Food Is Medicine Coalition Accredited Provider 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of meals served or provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Comprehensive Nutrition Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of chronically ill patients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Comprehensive Nutrition Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our main organizational goals are as follows:

1. Provide healthy food to our neighbors in need
2. Improve the health of (and decrease health care costs for) our clients
3. Create a vibrant community of clients, volunteers, and staff
4. Treat all clients fairly, with great respect, and without judgement.

To that end, our specific objectives are the following:

1. Clients will increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables by 50%
2. Clients who regularly attend our congregate lunch program will report reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation by at least 30%
3. 90% of clients will report being very satisfied or extremely satisfied with FFT’s services
4. New clients will decrease their risk of malnutrition by at least 25% after 3 months

To each client, we provide the following:

·Weekly groceries: fresh produce, high-quality protein, healthy grains (enough for 21 meals per week per person)
·Medically tailored meals for those too ill to cook
·Vitamins and supplements
·Delivery of above services to homebound or homeless clients
·Individual nutrition counseling and group cooking classes with a Registered Dietitian
·Congregate lunch program, 3 days per week
·Weekly case management and additional support

Over the past 30 years, we have demonstrated that our food distribution model is very effective and improves health and quality of life. For example, we have heard from a number of HIV doctors in our community that Sonoma County’s higher-than-average rate of HIV viral suppression (Sonoma County’s rate is 77%, compared with a national average of 49%) is in part because of FFT’s exceptional nutrition services.

In 1988, Food For Thought was founded as an HIV/AIDS service organization. Our founders noticed that many of their friends and neighbors were dying of AIDS, and they decided to do something about it. Over the years, we have provided increasingly comprehensive and individualized nutrition services with an emphasis on healthy food, vitamins and supplements, cooking classes, and nutrition education and counseling.

In 2014, we expanded our services to people in Sonoma County with a range of serious illnesses. Today, we serve over 1,500 clients affected by HIV, COVID-19 and other illnesses with lifesaving, comprehensive nutrition services.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve


Food For Thought
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 16.33 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3.7 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 26% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Food For Thought

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Food For Thought

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Food For Thought

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Food For Thought’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$93,886 -$116,523 $1,274,829 $809,512 -$802,495
As % of expenses -4.2% -4.3% 43.7% 27.8% -22.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$137,100 -$161,294 $1,226,315 $751,740 -$886,943
As % of expenses -6.0% -5.9% 41.4% 25.3% -24.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,982,635 $2,877,854 $3,517,654 $3,559,458 $3,599,053
Total revenue, % change over prior year -4.3% 45.2% 22.2% 1.2% 1.1%
Program services revenue 0.7% 0.2% 1.6% 0.1% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 4.5% 14.3% 2.0% 3.1% 2.1%
Government grants 0.0% 7.4% 14.4% 20.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 95.5% 70.4% 78.1% 75.3% 96.5%
Other revenue -0.7% 7.7% 3.9% 1.4% 1.4%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $2,234,058 $2,679,675 $2,914,355 $2,916,636 $3,585,417
Total expenses, % change over prior year -1.5% 19.9% 8.8% 0.1% 22.9%
Personnel 43.0% 47.5% 52.9% 55.1% 52.1%
Professional fees 4.5% 4.9% 1.5% 3.7% 2.8%
Occupancy 2.6% 3.5% 2.3% 2.7% 2.4%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 2.0% 1.0% 0.7% 0.5% 0.0%
All other expenses 47.8% 43.1% 42.6% 38.0% 42.6%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $2,277,272 $2,724,446 $2,962,869 $2,974,408 $3,669,865
One month of savings $186,172 $223,306 $242,863 $243,053 $298,785
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $236,922 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $59,295 $96,752 $153,963
Total full costs (estimated) $2,463,444 $2,947,752 $3,265,027 $3,551,135 $4,122,613

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 2.1 1.7 4.6 4.5 3.6
Months of cash and investments 19.8 17.9 21.0 22.5 15.8
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 11.2 8.8 13.1 16.0 9.8
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $381,726 $368,784 $1,112,040 $1,089,252 $1,065,708
Investments $3,297,465 $3,637,207 $3,992,188 $4,380,435 $3,646,975
Receivables $175,635 $154,163 $99,454 $244,706 $246,118
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $1,238,761 $1,231,448 $1,227,887 $1,320,901 $1,474,864
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 50.9% 54.3% 53.3% 53.6% 53.7%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 4.1% 3.3% 7.4% 3.2% 5.7%
Unrestricted net assets $2,689,199 $2,527,905 $3,754,220 $4,505,960 $3,619,017
Temporarily restricted net assets $72,146 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $1,668,130 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $1,740,276 $2,230,450 $1,814,066 $1,898,661 $1,941,657
Total net assets $4,429,475 $4,758,355 $5,568,286 $6,404,621 $5,560,674

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Ron Karp

Ron has served as Executive Director at Food For Thought since 1996. He brings a combination of skills to the organization which includes previous non-profit executive management, a B.S. degree in computer science with 15 years of related work experience, and management abilities first learned at a family-run business. Ron played an essential role in the capital funding campaign and the building project for Food For Thought’s current facility in Forestville. He has provided stable leadership by staying focused on the mission of providing excellent nutrition to people in Sonoma County affected by HIV and other serious illnesses.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Food For Thought

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Food For Thought

Board of directors
as of 09/08/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mitchell Savitsky

No Affiliation

Rodney DeMartini

Elisa Baker

Misti Wood

County of Sonoma

Shan Magnuson

Mark Short

S. Mitchell Savitsky

Nancy Bouffard

Kaiser Permanente

Claudia Sisomphou

Sonoma Clean Power

Gabriel Castillo

New York Life Insurance

Betty Mullen

Artizen Staffing

Cynthia King

Redwood Community Health Coalition

Evan Kishineff

Century 21 Bundesen

Estelle Rogers

John Andrew Wesley

Santa Rosa Community Health

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/29/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/28/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.