October 31, 2011

Angel Food Ministries Is No More - And There's No Ready Replacement

Angel Food Ministries did a great service for a lot of people all over the country, and it's sad to learn that Angel Food has stopped operations.  They provided great, restaurant-quality food to folk at a very reasonable price, no questions asked. 

I personally saw Angel Food make a difference in the holiday meals of several families when I worked with abused and neglected kids at the local CPS Children's Court.  Single moms were particularly happy with the chicken nuggets, as I recall -- the kids loved them.  Loved them.  And, another great thing about Angel Food is that distribution routed all around town, via local churches and a network of volunteers, so it was never that difficult for the moms to get to the monthly pickup with their baskets and Styrofoam coolers. 

There was a pride thing, too.  Angel Food didn't ask for income information or stuff like that -- if you wanted to participate, then you were welcome to do so.  For example, I knew of several school teachers that took advantage of the Angel Food packages as times got tight and tighter, especially their holiday packages. 

I swayed more than one CPS teen mom to try Angel Food after sharing that they wouldn't be asked money questions and that they might be in line next to a teacher.  No, not all these CPS parents are strung-out druggies: some are just young, uneducated, alone, and overwhelmed, and with some pride to protect.  Angel Food was top of the line stuff, at about half the price of retail. 

So, today, I'm sad to hear that Angel Food is no more and I'm hopeful that something just like it will pop up to serve the community; Angel Food wasn't the same as the food bank,  it would have been much more difficult to get those teen moms to go to the food bank than to the local church for Angel Food. 

There's talk of another organization filling this gap:  One Harvest Food Ministeries.  They are planning on starting food distribution akin to Angel Food next month (November 19th) and hope to go national within the year. 

Let's hope and pray that One Harvest Food has great success. 

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