by RICH ZECK
When you go to the store to shop for groceries and spend $30, you get $30 worth of food. This sounds reasonable. But what if I told you, you could spend $30 on food and get $60 worth of food? Sounds too good to be true? It is true and you can do it right here in Rockford.
Rockford Baptist Church is the local home to Angel Food Ministries (www.angelfoodministries.com) which is a non-profit, non-denominational national organization dedicated to grocery relief to communities just like ours. The program started in 1994 in Georgia with just 34 families and now has grown to serve thousands of families every month in over 17 states. What makes this program so unique says coordinator Jeannie Davis “is there is no prequalification. The only qualification is that you eat food and have $30.”
Rockford Baptist Church is the central delivery point along with four other local churches that co-op their resources and place an order once a month. Here is how the program works: a couple of times a month, orders and payments are accepted at the church. Then on the last Saturday of the month, the orders arrive at Rockford Baptist Church for pick up. Each month’s menu is different from the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items. The meals offer a balanced nutritional variety with enough food to feed a family of four for a week. These are not second hand items, damaged goods, out dated, dented cans, over ripened produce or day old bread. The quality is as good if not better than what you find in any other store except it costs you less. There are also specialty boxes available for senior citizens, steaks, pork, chicken, fruit and vegetables.
Deacon Ray Wenzel states, that Angel Food Ministries is an independent outreach ministry that provides a service for the community regardless of your income. Over 100 families are served each month at this pick up location. Remember there is no need to justify or qualify your need; there are no strings attached and no fine print. There are 30-40 volunteers that make this process run like a well-oiled machine. There are volunteers who handle the orders, unload the truck, separate the items and sign in and out customers. When I asked volunteer Martin Milner, how did you get started dong this he said, “My mom made me come down and help. Now I love it and have fun helping others.”
There are over 30 churches involved here in the greater Grand Rapids area helping support Angel Food Ministries so families can save money, eat better meals that include fresh vegetables, fruits, milk and eggs. If you would like more information on one of the best, kept secrets in Rockford contact Janet Wenzel at (616) 874-6738 or Jeannie Davis (616) 874-4292.