North Texas families tight on money are getting more out of their budget through a program called Angel Food Ministries. It's a nationwide non-profit program that provides a family of four with a week's supply of food for $30 or an elderly person for almost a month.
"This is not about gaining members. This is not about spreading the gospel. This is about showing the love we have for people and serving," explained Sharon Hudson, the Angel Food Ministries coordinator at Central Christian Church in Fort Worth. CCC is one of more than 100 host sites across North Texas.
On a recent Saturday morning, Kenneth Smith paid $87 for a basic box of food including rib-eye steaks, lasagna, beef patties, milk, eggs; a chicken combo box; and a box of seafood with flounder, salmon and shrimp.
"My icebox went empty, so I'm stocking up again. And it's cheaper and better quality, " Smith told NBCDFW.
"The economy got so bad and groceries going up so high, this is a good place to come," explained Rosalind Bell. Bell spent $86 to supply her and husband with seafood, sirloin steaks and chicken breasts along with other cuts of beef, broccoli, peanut butter, milk, eggs and dessert.
Mother of three Heather Peninger came for the first time and already predicts she'll get twice as much next month. She told NBCDFW she liked that the program didn't pry into her personal finances.
"It feels like you're coming here getting food stamps, but it's not," she said. "No questions about income. It's just whoever wants it can order it."
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"No qualifications, no applications and no limits to the number of orders you can buy. Just pre-order, pre-pay and pick-up" is how a Central Christian Church flier explains the program. CCC'S Hudson said large food suppliers provide Angel Food Ministries with "rock bottom deals" that feed hundreds of thousands of families in 35 states.
Standard boxes of food include the $30 signature box that provides enough food to feed a family of four for a week; the $28 box of convenience meals for seniors or people on the go; a box of allergen-free food for $25 or the $35 seafood box. Customers who buy one of the standard boxes can also buy one or more specials like 4.5 pounds of meat and chicken for $22, seven pounds of meat for $23, a $22 box with 11 pounds of chicken or boxes of fresh fruits and veggies for $22.
Orders must be pre-paid in person or on line. Cash, MasterCard, Visa, debit cards, money orders and food stamps are all accepted. The deadline for the next order is Sunday, June 12.