This capstone paper examines the various administrative, programmatic and ideological obstacles to operating a food for work program during a food emergency following a disaster. These include administrative obstacles associated with the logistics of food transport, storage and distribution, as well as coordination problems between implementing organizations and with local counterparts; programmatic obstacles caused by environmental factors that hinder program impact and sustainability; and ideological obstacles resulting from the growing opposition of development theorists to food aid. The paper analyzes qualitative data from a combination of sources, including a review of the literature, questionnaires by professional relief workers, and the author's personal observations as a food for work program coordinator in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. In the Conclusions section of the paper a presentation of the necessary conditions for a successful food for work program is given.