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Closing of Angel Food Ministries impacts Triangle food banks

Posted September 26, 2011
Updated September 27, 2011

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— Hurricane Irene, the deadly April tornadoes and the closing of a multi-million dollar national nonprofit have placed added strain on food banks in the Triangle, according to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a Raleigh-based charity that stocks the pantries of disaster victims and other needy families.

"Together we're not doing enough. If one of us disappears, it cripples everyone else," said Jill Staton Bullard, executive director of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. "It's a huge issue."

The Food Shuttle, like many Triangle nonprofits, is also seeing an increased demand for food assistance and a reduction in the number of donations coming in.

"Our reserves have dwindled to nothing," Staton Bullard said. "We're so far down that we're at a critical shortage."

Angel Food Ministries provided discount groceries to Triangle families for more than 17 years. Last week, it closed its doors, citing the economic downturn.

Based out of Georgia, Angel Food Ministries once served more than 500,000 families in 45 states, including many in North Carolina.

Food bank Triangle nonprofits feel economic strain

David Mallory, senior pastor at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church in Raleigh, which utilized Angel Food Ministries, said its closing was devastating.

"The vast majority of families we served were families hovering right on the poverty line," Mallory said.

He, like other church leaders in the area, said he is shopping around for another food program to serve his congregation. 

54 Comments

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  • storchheim Sep 28, 12:43 p.m.

    maz, do you read my posts? A couple of clicks and you'd have been able to find this link: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dss/foodstamp/index.htm

    It states that the maximum benefit for 1 person is $200 month, and you're allowed to earn much more than $500.

    Had you read my post, you'd comprehend that I spend $225 a month INCLUDING cleaning products. That means the food itself costs under $225.

    Furthermore, AS I SAID, WIC is for SOME women with children under 5. It's also for pregnant women and SOME of those who have a child under 12 months. Find it yourself.

    This is the second time in 3 days that you've come on here saying what you "know to be a fact" that is completely wrong; you also insisted that salaried people "by Federal law" get overtime pay. I posted the link to the Federal law.

    And now, maz, I'm done. Argue with me all you want, but I'm not going to post any more facts refuting you.

    YOu're entitled to your own opinion. You're NOT entitled to your own facts.

  • BubbaDuke Sep 28, 10:14 a.m.

    The sense of hopelessness is causing as much harm to our society as the economic mess our country is in. There simply is not enough money to care for everyone. It is going to be up to family and neighbors to care for one another. Plant gardens, can fruits and vegetables, raise chickens. We used to be an agrarian culture - now most of our farming is done by a few mega-farms that produce what looks like food but lacks the nutrients that our food once had.

    I work with the homeless in Durham. The volunteers pay for everything that we feed our homeless guests. Seven families spend well over $1,500 a month. Sometimes local restaurants help out, but our revenue sources are drying up too.

    Our tendency over the past 50 years has been to turn more and more often to the government for what we want. We've turned wants into needs; but the truth is that we don't need near as much as we consume. We throw away so much, but we don't share like we should.

  • westernwake1 Sep 27, 7:21 p.m.

    "westernwake1- Sorry you had such a bad experience with a single parent. I have met someone like that once about 20 years ago. I turned them in." - maz6123

    First let me clarify my comments - there are plenty of single parents receiving government assistance who are doing a great job and the best for their children.

    Unfortunately there are a few others who are not helping their children. Many people in the school system do their best to reach out and help the best that they can. Unfortunately the social workers have very little power to set things straight despite seeing that children do obviously do not get fed outside of the school. When they are "turned in" - nothing changes.

    All-in-all very sad situations - but it does point out the importance of food programs that feed children at the school ... and the character of Wake County school personnel who do their best to reach out and help.

  • maz6123 Sep 27, 7:02 p.m.

    storchheim- the fact is food stamps are about 175 per person, works out to about 6 dollars a day. It does NOT include soap, shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste, cleaning products etc. It also does not include pre-cooked food like those $5 roasted chickens in the deli, which are cheaper than buying a raw one. Income limits are about 500/person. WIC is for PREGNANT women and all children under 5. The loss of Angel Food Ministries will be great. Back in the day, I brought a few boxes of food in every month. Now I need them. Sad.

    westernwake1- Sorry you had such a bad experience with a single parent. I have met someone like that once about 20 years ago. I turned them in.

  • down2earth Sep 27, 6:38 p.m.

    @vozderazon - Thank you! Love it! I have volunteered with Food Bank for a few years. I also volunteered with a program called Communities in Schools Back Pack Program. Excellent program. Everyone is not selling food stamps for drugs. Some people are working everyday and still struggling. For those who sit and be judgemental, trying "giving back" every now and then. Perhaps it would change your outlook on some things.

  • storchheim Sep 27, 6:34 p.m.

    2thec - I think the point was that if the head of household already gets food stamps, where is that food (ahem) going? Why does the system have to feed the kids 3 meals a day AND give out food stamps?

    A single person's max foodstamp benefit is something like $200/month, AND they can be earning money. I spend about $225 a month on food and that includes cleaning products, etc. I don't eat much, but I have plenty of fresh meat, eggs, dairy and veggies. If one person can't manage on that amount, they're doing something wrong.

    In addition, over and above foodstamps, is WIC (women with infants and children) which provides food for some women with children under the age of 5.

    So please...don't be so quick to talk about how uncaring some people are. We're just tired of paying three times for some households. And we're tired of the abuse by the recipients who lie about their circumstances and by the bureaucrats who derive job security by expanding these programs.

  • North Carolina Cutie Sep 27, 3:54 p.m.

    NOT ALL SINGLE PARENTS SO THAT COULD HAVE BEEN NOT BEEN SAID. SOME PEOPLE JUST TAKE THINGS AND RUND WITH IT. MAYBE BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT ONE OF THOSE WHO NEED HELP WITH FOOD BUT PRAYER.

  • marymorris Sep 27, 3:23 p.m.

    The closing of Angel Food Ministries is a huge blow to all the people who need it. My husband and I have gone to get groceries from them when we didn't know where our next meal was coming from. Angel Food was a blessing from God to so many people including us.Not only that,but the people who helped out were warm,friendly and genuinely caring.The workers always had smiles on their faces and were helpful throughout the process of getting your food.You were always greated in a sincere manner,however,it was the smiles and the greetings you would receive from total strangers.We will miss Angel Food Ministries and all the people who helped even if it was a small gesture like a handshake or a touch on your shoulder, they always made you feel welcome! God Bless All of you! We always went to New Hope Baptist church!They may not have been real saints,but I always thought of them that way.

  • westernwake1 Sep 27, 3:14 p.m.

    "My problem is with the myriad government programs that supposedly "help" the needy get food, particularly where school lunch programs come into play. Why is it necessary for schools to provide breakfast as well as lunch and expand those programs into the summer months?" - airengr

    I used to ask the same thing. My wife works in an elementary school. The real problem is that many of these kids do not get fed expect for the food they get at school. They get no food at home. The school staff even brings in their own food to send home with some kids on Fridays for the weekend.

    The problem is that the "single parent" takes all the food stamp voucher/card help and trades it for drugs so the kids get nothing from these government programs. The kids only get to eat food provided from the school staff. Sad - but common - situation.

  • IAMAmerican Sep 27, 2:39 p.m.

    How about every church congregation hold a food drive and donate ALL the food to the Food Bank? Thanksgiving needs to be monthly. The winter is approaching and it is going to be tough on ALOT of folks. Quit complaining and be part of the solution. Times are tough all over. God Bless NC & AMERICA!
    KIDDZA

    Most Churches and organizations already give to the food bank.

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