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5 Top Charities for Putting Your Money to Work

Fifth-highest score: Feed My Starving Children
CharityNavigator score: 69.14 out of a possible 70

This Christian charity aims to fulfill the Bible's order to feed the hungry by making and distributing millions of "MannaPacks" -- mixtures of vitamin-enriched rice, soy and other grains -- to poor kids around the world.

Developed with help from Cargill, Pillsbury and General Mills (GIS) food scientists, MannaPacks don't need refrigeration, taste good and require only clean water to make.

Feed My Starving Children expects to this year distribute 153 million MannaPacks -- put together by volunteer groups from churches, schools and businesses around the country -- to the underprivileged in America and some 50 other nations.

CharityNavigator gives the nonprofit a four-star rating, the highest available, mostly because Feed My Starving Children earmarks 87.9 cents of every dollar raised for its stated mission. Only about 12% goes toward fundraising and administrative costs.

Feed My Starving Children also passes all 17 of CharityNavigator's transparency and accountability tests and gets a shout-out for increasing the size of its feeding efforts by some 45% a year since 2008.

"[The charity] is really expanding its programs dramatically," Miniutti says.

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