With Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor and
John Denver at a benefit concert.

These four actually formed a not for profit called The Food Policy Center which was a lobbying group that monitored the President’s Commission on World Hunger of which Harry was a member.

The Harry Chapin Memorial Fund was created in 1981 with help from Harry's former manager Ken Kragen and Kenny Rogers who donated $150,000 from a benefit concert. Harry's widow Sandy Chapin has led the organization from the beginning. While the name was changed to the Harry Chapin Foundation, its mission has stayed the same - to help make a positive difference in communities around the country.

From 1981-2016, 541 grants have been awarded for a total of $2,191,319. Of the 541 grants made, 264 grants were made to New York state organizations and the remaining 277 grants to organizations in other states. Awards were made as follows:

  • Food and Agriculture: 212 grants totaling $1,017,558
  • Arts and Education: 129 grants totaling $373,433
  • Community Education: 183 grants totaling $544,231
  • Environmental Programs: 17 grants totaling $46,570

The mission of the Harry Chapin Foundation is to support organizations that have demonstrated their ability to dramatically improve the lives and livelihood of people by helping them to become self-sufficient.