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Program assisting families in need
By CHRIS McGATHEY/Staff writer
Mesquite Valley Christian Church is helping some families in a unique way.
The church has become part of the Angel Food Ministries Program, where it hands out low-cost groceries to those in need. Mesquite Valley Christian Church became a host site for Mesquite’s Angel Food Ministries in Dec. 2006, distributing more than 30 units of food to families in the surrounding area at a minimum cost.
“We help about 50 families a month right now,” said Trena Damm, who is a member of Mesquite Valley Christian Church and heads up the Angel Food Ministries effort at the church.
Angel Food Ministries, based out of Georgia, is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing grocery relief to communities throughout the United States. The program is a not a charity or food bank program, but one that provides a means for bulk purchasing for everyone. By the end of 2006, the Angel Food Ministries Program had helped 500,000 families in 32 states.
“That has been the biggest challenge so far,” Damm said. “It’s an awesome program and I can’t say enough about it, but people don’t believe it. I call it the power of co-op purchasing.”
For as little as $25, an individual can get up to $60 to $75 worth of food. There are no qualifications or long-term commitments. Menus are determined by Angel Food Ministries headquarters and then the food is trucked to drop-off points all across the country. The menus contain fresh, name-brand foods and produce.
“We bring the items back here to our church and then separate them by hand, that way it works out good for all of us,” Damm said. “Each church is responsible for the way they want to distribute and handle the purchasing of the food.”
In return the church receives $1 for every menu item sold. Cash money orders and Lone Star Cards are accepted. Food orders are accepted monthly.
“What’s nice is that we take food stamps,” Damm said. “We have EBT slips where I can get approval for families on food stamps over the phone.”
“The Mesquite Valley Christian Church family is glad to offer the Angel Food Ministry to our neighbors as a service to the Mesquite community,” said Ted Smith, Mesquite Valley Christian Church pastor.
For more information regarding the program, call 972-978-0713 or visit the church’s web site at www.mesquitevalley.org/angelfood.
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