After shutting down for good back in late September, Angel Food Ministries has left a large gap in the hearts and budgets of many people struggling to get by.
The organization had been providing discounted goods for over 17 years, operating over 35 churches and allowing thousands of families across the U.S. to put enough food on their dinner table. Despite efforts to save it, AFM was forced to shut down due to the economic downturn and rising food prices.
Some have set up their own food pantries to try and feed needy people, but many are finding it hard to find a solution that can sustain them for the long-term. The AFM was of great help to people who did not meet government standards of qualifying for food-aid, but still needed extra groceries for their families.
Betty Moore, 78, is one of the many elderly citizens that is feeling the sting of the AFM’ closing, as she struggles facing up to rising grocery store prices. Speaking to The Augusta Chronicle, she shared:
“How do people get by? I spent more than $100 (at a grocery store), and it was like I came home with nothing. I used to spend $30 a month through Angel Food.”
Angel Food had been providing help to almost half-a-million families each month around the U.S., offering discounted food items that included necessities such as meats, vegetables and fruits. One of the most popular offerings included a $32 box that was enough to feed a four-member family for a full week.
Boxes of microwave meals were also available for people unable to cook on their own, which was of great help to significant parts of the elderly population.
One Harvest Food Ministries is one of the food services that will now be reaching out to people, and they are hoping to provide some relief to families affected by the AFM’s closing. Former employees of the now-defunct Angel Food founded the organization. It will start distributing groceries on Nov. 19th, and hopes to be operating on a nationwide scale by 2012.
Another former AFM coordinator, Bessie Flono, has said that her church, Gospel Water Branch Baptist, is also setting up pantries that will help people in the local area.
However, she is still praying that another organization will grow on a nationwide basis and be able to help the thousands out there that are really struggling, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up.
“Right now we’re really just hurting,” she shared. “People didn’t realize what a blessing Angel Food was until it was gone.”