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Angel Food Ministries opens site in Crawford

February 18, 2009
With the economy putting a squeeze on the budgets of people all over the country, some are having to make difficult choices, such as whether to pay the electric bill or buy food. And there's some people who have little money for either.

Now, those in Crawford County who can't afford to buy food they need can get help from Angel Food Ministries, an 18-state nonprofit program that offers families a way to keep food on the table during tough economic times. Lincoln Hills United Methodist Church, west of English along S.R. 64, is the host site for the program in Crawford County.

Angel Food Ministries offers food boxes, filled with meat, vegetables, eggs and more for $30. According to the agency's Web site, a $30 box can feed a family of four for a week or a senior citizen for a month. The actual food value of the $30 box is about $60 to $65.

Although Lincoln Hills UMC is the host site for Crawford County, other churches including Milltown United Methodist, Marengo United Methodist, Highfill Chapel Christian, Cornerstone Chapel Church of God, Crawford Consolidated Methodist and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints near Marengo, are taking orders and distributing the food boxes in their respective communities.

"We take orders for the food boxes once a month," Lincoln Hills Pastor Jerry Wilbert said. "That's on the second weekend of the month. The boxes are paid for at the time the orders are placed. Then, on the fourth weekend, the boxes are ready for pickup. It's on a cash basis, and the program also accepts food stamps. We have been involved in the program since October, but the extra help we're getting from the other churches is a new addition. Anyone can qualify for the program and can order the food boxes. But the main focus of the churches is the neediest of the needy."

The regular boxes ordered in February will include 1-1/2 pounds of sirloin strip steaks, a two-pound pack of chicken breasts, one pound of boneless pork chops, two pounds breaded chicken nuggets, 28 ounces sliced bacon, one pound all-meat hot dogs, one pound stir-fry (broccoli, red peppers and onions), one pound carrots, eight ounces breakfast cereal, 32 ounces 2-percent shelf-stable milk, 35 ounces crinkle-cut fries, 7-1/4 ounces macaroni and cheese, one pound rice, one pound bean soup mix, one dozen eggs and dessert — all for $30.

With the purchase of one or more regular boxes, special boxes can also be ordered. In February, the special boxes included:

•Box 1 ($22) — Six pounds of assorted meat including 1-1/2-pounds of bone-in ribeye steak, 1-1/2 pounds of bacon-wrapped lean ground beef patties, two pounds of thick-sliced pork chops and one pound mild Italian sausage with mozzarella cheese.

•Box 2 ($21) — Four pounds steak combo including 2-1/2 pounds of T-bone steaks and 1-1/2 pounds of New York strip steaks.

•Box 3 ($21) — Includes five-plus pounds of fajita ingredients, including two pounds of steak strips, two pounds of chicken breast strips, one pound of onions and bell peppers and 20 flour tortillas.

•Box 4 ($16) — Frozen sides and fixin's, including heat-and-serve corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, dinner rolls and one pie.

•Box 5 ($21) — Fresh fruit and veggies, including baking potatoes, sweet potatoes, yellow onions, raisins, carrots, cabbage, apples, pears, pineapple and oranges.

•Box 6 ($15) — Contains 70 to 75 tangerines.

Another box that is available is the Senior/Convenience Box ($28): 10 seasoned, nutritionally balanced, fully cooked meals — just heat and serve — and includes beef chili macaroni casserole, ham and white beans, creamy chicken fettuccine alfredo, sweet and sour pork, beef meatballs and shell pasta with creamy alfredo sauce, pot roast and gravy, creamy macaroni and cheese, flame-broiled barbecue chicken breast, grilled chicken breast over rice and gravy, and 10 two-packs of individually wrapped cookies.

The menu is different each month. Angel Food items are purchased from the nation's food suppliers; there are no "seconds" or "day-old" food. There are no restrictions, conditions or forms to fill out. The program is open to everyone.

"Our next time to order will be the second weekend of March, the 12th and 14th," Wilbert said. "Then, it can be picked up on the 28th of March."

For more information, contact Tom Kalk, director of the program, at 1-812-338-9353 or Lincoln Hills UMC at 338-2047. Other churches listed above can also be contacted.

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Barbara Shaw
Schuler Bauer
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