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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tips on Tuesday: Angel Food Ministries & S.H.A.R.E.

With the cost of groceries rising, I want to share about two programs that are open to ANYONE! It doesn't matter how much you do or don't have, you are eligible for both programs.

Angel Food Ministries: This is the program Sean & I currently choose to participate in. The location is closer to our home, the pickup time is more convenient and the food is less processed which gives us options on serving it to our family in ways they will eat.

Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing grocery relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States. The program began in 1994 with 34 families in Monroe, Georgia (between Atlanta and Athens), and has grown to serve hundreds of thousands of families every month across 35 states. Angel Food Ministries crosses denominational lines and has spread the good news of the gospel of Christ through salvation tracts that are placed in each food order.
Blessings by the box--Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.
Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one could purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.
Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program appreciate the expanded choices. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can receive, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.
It's both a Bargain and a Blessing!
Sample Menu:
(this month's menu can be viewed here)
4 lb. IQF Leg Quarters
4 oz. Beef Back Ribs
1 lb. 80/20 Lean Ground Beef
2 lb. Breaded Chicken Tenders
1.5 lb. Bone in Pork Chops (4 x 6oz.)
1 lb. Ground Turkey
18 oz. Stuffed Manicotti (Cheese)
12 oz. Smoked Sausage
Betty Crocker Seasoned Potatoes
7 oz. Cheeseburger Dinner
16 oz. Green Beans
16 oz. Baby Carrots
2 lb. Onions
1 lb. Pinto Beans
1 lb. Rice
7 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix
10 ct. Homestyle Waffles
Dessert Item

S.H.A.R.E. (Self Help and Resource Exchange):

Established in 1990, the SHARE Food Network provides approximately 13,500 food packages each month. By combining buying power and volunteerism, SHARE is able to offer quality foods and substantial savings to it's participants.

**Note--for SHARE, you are required to volunteer for the units of food you purchase. You can do anything for someone else that you don't receive payment for. Many people give their time helping pack the boxes on distribution day. Any church work, school volunteer work or even helping a neighbor counts. Sean & I were attracted to this because of the direct impact it had on our city.

The SHARE Food Network distributes high quality, affordable nutritious food as a way to build community and strengthen families. Organized through 325 churches and community groups, participants perform two hours of volunteer service and pay $18.00 monthly to purchase groceries worth approximately $35.00 - $40.00. People are empowered through SHARE (Self Help And Resource Exchange) to stretch their family's food budget, access information on health and nutrition, and develop partnerships to prevent hunger in communities.

While they do not have a national website, if you Google Share Food Network and your state, you should find a listing of local sites. I liked this website for SHARE:

We have participated in SHARE since our early married years (17 years and counting). Until recently, we hadn't hear of Angel Food so we only did SHARE. Both are fantastic organizations and I encourage you to check the menus out and pick the one that is best for you and your needs.

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