Food Research and Action Center




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $12,048,634
Expenses: $11,894,182
Assets: $7,499,428


Luis Guardia


Nonprofit Advocacy



Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is a left-of-center organization that seeks to end hunger by lobbying in support of increasing taxpayer-funded nutrition programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and free school meals. 1

FRAC has called for the funding and passage of a new government program that would provide free meals to all students at school, regardless of family income. 2 Luis Guardia is the president of FRAC and described its agenda as strengthening government nutrition initiatives and reducing hunger in the United States, in part by eliminating so-called “systemic” racism. 3 Under the guise of supporting programs to end hunger, FRAC has endorsed a broad left-of-center agenda, including increased affordable housing, higher minimum wages, and income redistribution. 4 Despite supporting income redistribution, FRAC’s 2018 tax records report that its six highest-paid employees together received over one million dollars in total compensation. 5

FRAC claimed that the Trump administration provoked divisiveness and civil unrest, and that its pandemic response impoverished millions, particularly ethnic minorities. It congratulated then President-elect Joe Biden’s extension of entitlement benefits for as long as the pandemic lasts, calling the extension essential to securing equality into the future. 6

Political Advocacy


FRAC claimed that the food stamp program, SNAP, is almost as successful as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program in getting Americans out of poverty. FRAC argued that SNAP allowed 3.6 million Americans to escape poverty in 2016, while also claiming that SNAP benefits drive economic activity to such an degree that $1 of SNAP creates $1.50 to $1.80 in economic activity. 7  FRAC further alleges that SNAP has large positive impacts in industries like transportation, trade, and manufacturing. 8

Universal School Meals Act

FRAC supports the Universal School Meals Act that was co-sponsored by left-wing U.S. Representatives including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). The bill was also supported by organizations including the National Education Association (NEA), Progressive Democrats of America, the left-wing Democratic Socialists of America, Progress America, and Social Security Works. The legislation aims to guarantee all students at participating school lunch institutions a hot breakfast or lunch, eliminate all meal debts and income reporting for eligibility, and increase the SNAP allowance through the summer vacation The bill would dramatically increase per-meal spending. 9

Public Charge Rule

FRAC described the Trump administration’s public charge rule, which limited legal residency eligibility on the basis of receipt of entitlement benefits, as forcing immigrants to choose between their family and food. FRAC has claimed that the rule is cruel and was created to frighten immigrant families from SNAP participation. FRAC argues that the policy will cause an impoverished, less healthy, and more hungry country, particularly for the disabled, the poor, veterans, senior citizens, and children. 10

In 2021, FRAC congratulated the Biden administration for cancelling the public charge policy, calling it  “draconian.” FRAC interpreted President Biden’s executive order as a sign that increased federal program benefits will continue during and after the pandemic. 11

Activist Training

FRAC is co-sponsoring webinars with Feeding America on how to become a so-called “anti-hunger” activist. The lessons range from virtual lobbying efforts to social media campaigns to town hall meetings, aiming to instruct activists on how to engage members of Congress effectively. 12

Able-Bodied Work Requirements

The Trump administration introduced rules through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that would require able-bodied adults without dependents who receive SNAP recipients to maintain eligibility by reporting at least 80 hours of work or other allowed activities per month. FRAC opposes the rules and claims that 700,000 people will lose their SNAP privileges if it is enforced. 13

Budget Battle

In 2020, FRAC took on former President Trump’s proposed 2021 budget, which reduced federal spending for SNAP and school meal programs. FRAC claimed the SNAP budget cuts of $180 billion over ten years would damage the health of millions of Americans and opposed a food box program that would distribute meals to SNAP recipients, rather than an allowance. FRAC also protested a spending reduction of $1.7 billion over ten years for school meals and proposed policies that it claimed would lower student participation. FRAC demanded that lawmakers instead strengthen federal programs, including raising benefit amounts and increasing program spending. 14


The president of FRAC is Luis Guardia. Guardia previously led other left-of-center media organizations, including One Campaign, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and National Public Radio. 15

Ron Pollack is the founder of FRAC and the leader of Families USA, a government healthcare advocacy organization that was one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). 16


The Partnership to End Childhood Hunger in the Nation’s Capital is a group led by FRAC, Share our Strength, and D.C. Hunger Solutions. The group works with politicians to end childhood hunger in Washington D.C. in ten years by providing three taxpayer-supported meals a day to eligible children. 17 FRAC has held up the program as a model for other cities to emulate. 18

FRAC is on the steering committee for the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign (PIF), created to oppose the Trump administration’s policies that allegedly targeted immigrants. 19 PIF has claimed that American culture is based on a history of oppression, white supremacy, and systemic racism. 20


Left-leaning groups including the Tides Foundation, JPB Foundation, and California Endowment have funded FRAC. 212223


  1. Vollinger, Ellen. “President’s FY 2021 Budget Would Increase Hunger and Poverty in America.” Food Research & Action Center, February 11, 2020.
  2. Perez, Allyson. “It’s Time For Free School Meals For All.” Food Research & Action Center, March 2, 2021.
  3. “Food Research & Action Center Welcomes Five New Members to Board of Directors.” Food Research & Action Center, February 16, 2021.
  4. FRACs-Priorities-for-the-Current-Budget-Reconciliation-Bill-S.-Con.-Res.-5. Washington, DC: FRAC, 2021.
  5. “Return of Organization.” IRS 990 . IRS, December 2018.
  6. “FRAC Celebrates the Legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” Food Research & Action Center, January 19, 2021.
  7. Francois, Willie. “Trump’s USDA Threatens Food Security for Hard-Working Americans.” TheHill, February 12, 2019.
  8. Vollinger, Ellen. “A Recession Might Be Coming. Can Somebody Tell the Trump Administration?” Food Research & Action Center, August 30, 2019.
  9. “Sanders and Omar Unveil Sweeping Legislation to Provide Universal School Meals to Children.” Representative Ilhan Omar, October 16, 2019.
  10. Weill, James. “This Is (Not) America: New Trump Administration Rule Will Create More Hunger and Poverty.” Food Research & Action Center, September 6, 2019.
  11. Guardia, Luis. “FRAC Applauds Biden’s Executive Order to Begin Work to Reverse Public Charge Rules.” Food Research & Action Center, February 4, 2021.
  12. “Virtual Lobbying Is Here to Stay National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference (Co-Hosted by Feeding America and FRAC).” Peach New Media. Accessed March 6, 2021.
  13. “FRAC Applauds Multi-State Litigation to Stop the Administration from Taking Away SNAP Benefits for Nearly 700,000 People.” Food Research & Action Center, February 5, 2020.  
  14. Vollinger, Ellen. “President’s FY 2021 Budget Would Increase Hunger and Poverty in America.” Food Research & Action Center, February 11, 2020.
  15. Guardia, Luis. Linkedin. Linkedin, 2021.
  16. “Longtime Health Care Advocate Hopes for Democratic Turning Point.” POLITICO, February 13, 2007.  
  17. “Ending D.C. Childhood Hunger.” The Washington Post. WP Company, April 19, 2006.
  18. Woodlee, Yolanda. “Student Meal Program To Expand to 3 a Day.” The Washington Post. WP Company, April 18, 2006.
  19. Weill, James. “This Is (Not) America: New Trump Administration Rule Will Create More Hunger and Poverty.” Food Research & Action Center, September 6, 2019.
  20. “PIF Stands Against Systemic Racism and Structures of Oppression.” Protecting Immigrant Families, July 8, 2020.
  21. Tides Foundation, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Schedule I
  22. JPB Foundation, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2018, Part XV Line 3
  23. California Endowment, Return of a Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2015, Party XV Line 3
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 1972

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $12,048,634 $11,894,182 $7,499,428 $792,827 N $11,551,860 $360,197 $1,413 $234,668 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $10,048,203 $9,131,622 $7,947,318 $1,642,169 N $9,726,427 $265,942 $1,206 $231,970 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $6,780,797 $7,782,692 $6,095,587 $707,019 N $6,430,149 $304,646 $1,256 $223,555 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $10,946,420 $8,696,467 $7,065,633 $675,170 N $10,605,654 $313,087 $1,633 $212,369 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $4,955,798 $7,957,128 $4,734,695 $594,185 N $4,685,871 $252,251 $1,913 $208,228 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $7,698,821 $7,365,564 $7,962,377 $820,537 N $7,416,333 $255,330 $3,043 $196,383 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $6,928,123 $6,298,454 $7,228,627 $420,044 N $6,679,917 $215,913 $2,110 $189,108 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $8,381,959 $4,324,126 $6,658,646 $479,732 N $8,221,848 $191,451 $0 $168,253 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Food Research and Action Center

    1200 18TH ST NW STE 400
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-2527