A nonprofit that has distributed millions of boxes of steeply discounted food to the needy is offering people a chance to pass the blessing forward to a military family.
Angel Food Ministries of Monroe, Georgia, distributes food boxes through a network of 6,000 churches and social service agencies in 44 states. Recipients pay $30 for boxes of food worth $42 to $78. There are no income restrictions and no application forms.
The organization says it provides affordable food to 500,000 families a month.
In a new initiative, Angel Food is encouraging people to contribute $36 to buy holiday food boxes for the families of active-duty military personnel.
"Our service women and men put so much on the line," said Pastor Joe Wingo, founder and CEO of Angel Food Ministries. "And their families are the ones who feel it the most. We want to help them and help the enlisted folks know we care."
The organization is extending the benefit to non-military families as well.
"We have so many truly hungry here in our country, and this same program can feed them, too," Wingo said.
Boxes can be ordered through Angel Food's website, where users also can find monthly box menus and locations of distribution points.
The program will continue after the holiday season is over, with regular $30 boxes available for gifting to both military and non-military families, spokesman Juda Engelmayer said.
Angel Food Ministries says it has distributed more than 25 million boxes of food since it was founded in 1994. The boxes contain high-quality fresh and frozen foods, including meats.
"There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe," the website says.
The group fed 40,000 people in Pensacola, Florida, for free on one day during the peak of the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico.