Monday, December 25, 2006

Hot Food Find

Do you like food? I thought so. While there are a lot of posts out there that talk about how you can save money on this and that, food is one of the few things that all of us actually need. Whether you like to get a good deal on your groceries just because you like to save money or whether you need the savings because of limited income, this is for everyone.

Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization that offers boxes of food for a substantially reduced cost by cutting out the middlemen (grocery stores) and using the help of volunteers to distribute the food.

From their site:

Angel Food's groceries are sold in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $25 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 $50. 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 would 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 purchase, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries, like most all other retail grocery stores, also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.

The menu for next month:

January 2007 Menu

(6) 5 oz. Bacon-Wrapped Beef Filets
(1) 1.5 lb. Boneless Pork Roast
(1) 2 lb. Fully Cooked Frying Chicken
(1) 2 lb. Salsbury Steak Entree
(1) 2 lb. Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
(1) 1 lb. Flame-Broiled Meatballs
(1) 16 oz. Bean Soup Mix
(1) 26 oz. Pasta Sauce
(1) 16 oz. Pasta
(1) 7.5 oz. Mac & Cheese
(1) 24 oz. French Fries
(1) 16 oz. Green Peas & Carrots
(1) 15 oz. Diced Bartlett Pears
(1) 14 oz. Peanut Butter
(1) 8 oz. Pancake Mix
(1) Dessert Item
(1) 7 oz. Brown N Serve Sausage

While it sounds like this program is geared for people with low-incomes, I say it again, it's for everyone. By purchasing a box, it increases the leverage of Angel Food Ministries to purchase in larger quantities, thereby decreasing per-unit costs. The local organizations or churches that act as host sites also receive $1 for every unit sold. By buying a box, you are not taking anything away from deserving people, in fact, you're helping the cause.

The deadline for ordering for January is January 2 or 15, depending on which state you're in. For more information, visit the website. If there isn't one where you live, you can get one started - there are details on how to start a host site.

Merry Christmas and appreciate what you have - and don't forget to keep in mind those less fortunate.
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