New group helping feed needy here

Published 2:31 pm Monday, January 31, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Niles area has a new charity organization.
On a national level, Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit and non-demoninational organization dedicated to providing food for lower income families and individuals in communities throughout the country.
The Niles chapter of Angel Food Ministries is located at 220 E. Main.
Kathy Joyce, president of the group Home School Hub, a not-for-profit home school support group, saw some information about the organization and decided to explore it.
Joyce visited an Angel Food distribution center in St. Joseph and decided to start a chapter here.
The Angel Food Ministries program was created in 1994 by Pastor Joe Wingo. It helped to feed 34 families in Monroe, Ga., and since then has grown to serve thousands of families each month.
In December alone, Angel Food nationally fed more than 70,000 families.
Angel Food purchases food in bulk, then boxes it according to items that make up a monthly menu of meals. Each box of food is worth about $50, and Angel Food sells it for about half that price.
The sales and distribution of the food are handled by the host sites. Orders and payments are collected during the first part of each month. The orders are then turned into the main office in Georgia on a predetermined date.
Several days later, the food is either picked up at the facility in Georgia or is delivered to a host site.
Each box of food can help to feed a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month.
The food received is all the same high quality items one could purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, damaged or out of date goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is too ripe, officials said.
There is no limit to the number of boxes one can purchase, and you don't have to complete any applications and there are no qualifications to which participants must adhere. The program also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, by using the off-line food stamp voucher system.
The group is looking for volunteers to help out with the distribution, which takes place the fourth Saturday of each month from 2 to 3 p.m. If interested in volunteering or learning more about how to purchase a box of food items, call Bliss at 683-0439. Information is also available at