July 25, 2008

Angelfood Ministries Offers Food Orders to Everyone

By Al Lowe

There are no hassles over paperwork or qualifiers for those applying to purchase food through the Angelfood Ministries program.

"If you eat, you qualify," said Darlene Love, a church elder who takes orders for the national Christian program at Kerr Presbyterian in Penn Hills. "So many people don't know about the program."

"I've heard people say, 'Let the poor have it.' But everybody can save through it," said Don Thomson, president of the council overseeing the Evangelical Congregational Church in McKeesport.

His church is a distribution point for the boxes of food coming via truck from Monroe, Ga. Kerr and 19 other churches come to the McKeesport church to pick up food orders for their members and others.

Each order costs $30 and is worth more than twice that, containing frozen individually wrapped meats, fruit and breakfast and dessert items.

Kerr takes orders from members of its congregation and purchases two orders per month so Love can give out food to anyone requesting it.

"We never have an abundance of that food left over," said Love, whose husband, Ken Love, is pastor of the church.

There are several specials offered each month, such as 10 pounds of chicken tenders at $16.

"It's a lot of food for what you're paying," Love said.

Orders are taken during the first two weeks of the month and the distribution in McKeesport occurs on the last Saturday of the month.

Thomson and church representatives wait for the truck at 5 a.m., but the arrival time is sometimes 6:30 a.m.

"We have a morning prayer while we wait," Love said. "It's a wonderful ministry. I absolutely love doing it. I never miss it."

Evangelical Congregational distributes food to worship sites in Clairton, Ingomar, North Park, Oakland, Donora, Jeannette and other sites. The Web site lists distribution points for areas all over the country.

The church receives 400 to 600 orders each month. The truck carries more than 1,600 orders.

It usually takes two hours to unload the food packages and "it's labor intensive," Thomson said.

In three years, "I think we have distributed 4,000 food packages," Thomson said.

His sister in Clarion told him about the program, and he consulted his pastor about having it operate through his church.

"I stock up the cupboard. My mom gets a package, too. We trade things we like and don't like," said Charlotte Bac of Plum, who orders through Kerr.

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