Hattie Whitfield wants to help feed 100 families this month.
Whitfield is the coordinator of Angel Food Ministries at a local host site in the Calvary Baptist Church in Richmond Hill. The nonprofit organization is based in Monroe, and it aims to supply families and people with low-cost, high-quality food.
People can buy packages of foods, which include meats, starches and vegetables, for as little as $21 from the ministry. The nonprofit was started in 1994 by pastors Joe and Linda Wingo. The couple’s mission spread from their backyard to almost every state.
“We have the same kind of mission for the people of Bryan County [and] Liberty County,” Whitfield said.
Calvary Baptist Church became a host site for the ministries in September. Pastor Stanford Anderson had a vision to help people in the community.
“We are here to serve the community and serve the needs of the people,” he said.
The four volunteers at the church who are regularly involved in Angel Food Ministries have sent brochures and went to area apartment complexes to help spread the word.
Since Calvary Baptist Church became a host site in September, more people have been ordering boxes of food for the once-a-month distributions. In September, 35 boxes, which serviced 23 families, were distributed from the site on Daniel Siding Loop Road. In October, 57 boxes for 35 families were picked up, and in November, 90 boxes fed 65 families.
The goal is to distribute between 125 to 150 boxes later this month, which would feed about 100 families, Whitfield said. Some people buy more than one box, and some are buying packages for other families, she added.
“The feedback is terrific,” Whitfield said of Calvary Baptist Church being a host site for the ministry.
On distribution days, volunteers get to work at 7:30 a.m. to pick up the boxes of food in Savannah. The church is open for about an hour – distribution is between 10 and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18 – and volunteers work to reduce the line and help carry boxes to cars, Whitfield said.
“It’s really, really awesome,” she said.
Anderson said his church has a great staff and dedicated team.
“We have a passion for this ministry,” he said.
Anyone can buy the packages from Angel Food Ministries; there is no income requirement or application, Whitfield said. Food stamps can be used, and many college students buy the boxes.
The most common package, the bread of life signature box, includes servings of chicken, beef, frozen vegetables, eggs, beans, rice, pancake mix, hamburger patties, sausage and macaroni and cheese, and other foods. It costs $31 and is designed to help feed a family of four for a week.
“It’s a good buy,” Whitfield said, noting that the food is restaurant-quality.
The ministries don’t sell second-rate food, said Pastor Wes Wingo, the son of the founders of Angel Food Ministries and the director of pastoral relations of the group. He said the food is fresh and provides nutritional value for families that otherwise may not be able to afford those types of foods.
“Angel Food is not just a hand out,” he said. “It’s a hand for those needing a hand up.”
The food is discounted because it is bought directly from the vendor, Wingo said, and the group offers a great value for people on a tight food budget.
“This is our stimulus package,” he said.
People in Bryan County and surrounding areas can place their Angel Food Ministries orders with the Calvary Baptist Church until Sunday, Dec. 12. Order can be placed Tuesdays and Thursdays at the church or online at www.angelfoodministries.com. Distribution is from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the church. Pay by credit or debit card online, or by cash, money order or EBT food stamps. Call 756-3656 for more information.