03/17/09 — Angel Food program offers low-cost food to city families

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Angel Food program offers low-cost food to city families

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on March 17, 2009 1:46 PM

Locals suffering from the struggling economy are getting a helping hand from the city of Goldsboro and Angel Food Ministries, a low-cost food distribution program that every month helps more than 500,000 people put food on their tables.

The Angel Food outreach, based in Monroe, Ga., fills boxes with fresh and frozen food and sells them for about half the actual cost of the contents.

"A lot of people have taken advantage of the program with the economy the way it is," said Community Affairs Director LaTerrie Ward, program coordinator with the city.

Angel Food operates much like the SHARE program, which ended in 2006.

"The city council thought the program was viable to the citizens and asked me to look for another program," Ms. Ward said.

The Goldsboro Housing Authority provides transportation to bring the food from Georgia once a month. Once the packages arrive in Goldsboro, volunteers from the Community Affairs Commission, the Mayor's Youth Council and the defunct SHARE program help unload and distribute the boxes.

"Once we get at least 400 orders, Angel Food will send a truck from Georgia directly to Goldsboro," Ms. Ward said.

The city is setting up a benevolent fund required for inclusion to the program and currently charges $1 extra for each package to help establish the fund. Community response to the program has steadily increased since the city started taking orders in December.

"We began the 16th of December with 51 orders, January orders total 60 and February, 181," said Ms. Ward.

Customized boxes for families, senior citizens/individuals and even people with common food allergies are available, and citizens are encouraged to buy a box for others in need. The Community Affairs Depart-ment takes food orders from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They accept cash, food stamp vouchers or certified checks, and online orders can be paid with a debit or credit card.

Orders for the March delivery must be placed by today. Delivery takes place March 21, but there are different deadlines and delivery dates every month, Ms. Ward said. Distribution is from 10 a.m. to noon at Herman Park.

To see this month's menu or make an order online, visit www.ci.goldsboro.nc.us or www.angelfoodministries.com

And more help from the city is on the way. A fund to help with water bills will be up and running by July, but the criteria for participating in the water assistance program has not been determined.

"It is my understanding that we are the only municipality to host such a program," Ms. Ward said.