|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - March 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Chesswood group helps families cut grocery costs
Polk County Enterprise - March 2009
LIVINGSTON – In diffi cult economic times, one of the most vulnerable area’s of the family’s budget is food. Chesswood Baptist Church and Angel Food Ministries have teamed up to offer families in our community nutritious, low cost food. Angel Food Ministries (AFM), the national food relief distribution network, broke records last month by fi lling more than 500,000 food orders across the country. AFM continues to break its own sales records each month from Monroe, Ga. where the program has been in continuous operation for 15 years. In Livingston, Chesswood Baptist Church became a host site for the AFM program last September. In the last seven months the church has helped families beat rising food costs and tightened budgets with more than $40,000 of food. Each regular box of food includes fresh and frozen products such as vegetables, fruit and meats. Boxes also include items like pancake mix, canned goods, eggs and a dessert. A basic box order is $30 and have a variety of items that provide nutritional balance and enough food to feed a family of four for one week. Participants can choose from several options each month in addition to the basic box. For example, a new allergen-free box of food is offered along with specials each month. In April, a fish and shrimp seafood box is among the specials. Chesswood volunteers take orders until the second week of the month for delivery by the end of the month. Orders are taken from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. The March orders for March were distributed this weekend. Volunteers will take orders for the next delivery until April 11. A review of the April menu is available at the church, many businesses or online at www.angelfoodministries. com. The April food orders may be picked up at the church April 25 after 9 a.m. The AFM program is in place in many communities across 35 states. AFM purchases food items in bulk and stores the food in large warehouses. The host or church organization usually travels to a pickup site in their area where distributions are made. Then volunteers take supplies to fill their orders and divide the food into individual orders for pickup by participants in their community. Connie and James Dorsett of Chesswood Baptist Church have been pleased with the response from the community in the seven months in operation. “Last month was record-breaking for AFM and for us,” James Dorsett said. “We provided over 360 boxes of food last month that included basic and special orders. We are growing each month as word gets out about the program. People are surprised when they learn there are no qualifications to receive food in this program.” The AFM program has no age or income restrictions. Everyone is eligible. With cutbacks and shrinking budgets most people are experiencing, this program is a solution to help families and individuals with their food costs. For more information on the AFM food program, Chesswood Baptist Church volunteers can be reached at 936-328-4665.