Angel Food Ministries 101

Kim Conte
13


Everyone's feeling the economic crunch these days. Lots of CafeMoms are saving money on their grocery bill with Angel Food Ministries, which provides low-cost boxes of food to families nationwide.

There's lots of debate as to whether this program is a good deal. That's why I asked CafeMom snoopy21276, who's been getting boxes of food for more than a year, to tell us why it's worth it for her family of four...


Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization that provides low-cost boxes of meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and other food each month to any family, regardless of income. The regular box, which costs $30 [and supposedly retails at $60], can feed a family of four for one week or a senior citizen for a month. Additionally, specialty boxes are available including meat boxes or boxes with fresh fruits and vegetables. Families place an order each month and pick up the boxes at participating churches in their area. Visit the official Web site to see if there is a participating distribution center near you.

Snoopy21276 has been ordering boxes of food from Angel Food Ministries regularly for more than a year. She shares her experience below:

CM: How long have you been getting Angel Food Ministries?

We have been getting it pretty consistently for over a year. Our church is a location that offers it. I am a stay-at-home mom and my husband works full time, and we just barely missed the cut-off for food assistance so this is a great way to save on our grocery bill.

How big is your family? What box do you get each time and how long does it last?

We are a family of four—myself, my husband, and our two children Hunter (5) and Claire (3). We typically spend $75 for our order: We get the basic unit [$30]; meat unit [$22]; and definitely the fresh veggies and fruits [$21] each month. Depending on what the family enjoys, the food (when combined with other groceries) will last us two weeks.

What kinds of things are included each time?

Each month is different. There are lots of fresh items like a dozen eggs, shelf milk, a dessert item. The biggest savings is in the meat unit. It does take some time to figure out how to prepare the meat, but it's usually really good, especially for crock pot meals!

What was included in your last box and what are some examples of specific meals you made from the food?

In the basic box we got eggs, cookies, peanut butter, chicken strips with Mexican flavoring (very good), tortillas (those were not so good), mac and cheese, white rice, lots of frozen veggies, ribs, roast, popcorn chicken. We also got a chicken combo box that came with chicken wings, a whole chicken and chicken tenders. The fruits and veggie box had cabbage, celery, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and oranges—all fresh

How would you rate the food quality? Does your family like it, generally?

I enjoy the majority of it. The meat—for instance, the pork chops—tend to have a lot of fat on them. My husband loves the steaks, provided they are marinated and cooked on the Foreman Grill. I would highly recommend having a Fry Daddy if you do get Angel Food as most of the chicken is restaurant-style and the directions are for deep frying.

How would you rate the variety of the food? Is it different each time?

Yep there is a good variety. They try and cover all the food groups to provide more nutritious value.

How much money do you think you are saving each month by using Angel Food Ministries?

I would say we save $50-70 dollars a month because I plan my meals around what we order. The meat is where the most savings come into play. The food is not all brand names, but the kids don't realize that! Mac and cheese and hot dogs are still favorites no matter what brand!

Would you recommend it to other moms?

Yup, and I have many times! The hard part is initially getting used to it because you order, pay, and wait for the order to arrive anywhere from one to three weeks, so that can be a factor. But we just plan ahead.

Thank you to snoopy21276 for her helpful advice!


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