Thayer's Angel Food Ministries host site is the First Assembly of God Church located on Industrial Drive in Thayer. Abel Perez is the church pastor and Wyndy Donahue is the Angel Food Ministries coordinator.
The program has been in existence in Thayer for three years. "At our first distribution we had 13 people participate. We now average between 60 and 80 people a month," Donahue said.
She said there are no qualifications, minimums, income restrictions or applications.
Angel Food is available in a quanity that can fit into a medium sized box at $30 a unit. Each month's menu is different and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Donahue said comparison shopping has been done across the country in different communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing between $42 and $78.
"We are not trying to compete with local grocery stores. We are trying to help people stretch their food dollar," Perez said.
Usually one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about a week or a senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality of food one could purchase at a grocery store.
"There are no second hand items, no damaged or out-dated food, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is too ripe," Donahue said.
She said a new item that has been added to this months menu is the Senior Box. "This box consists of 10 individual meals that are all fully cooked and labeled with complete heating instructions. They will just need to heat and serve them. Each meal has no added sodium, is low in fat, and is nutritionally balanced for seniors with three ounces of protein, two vegetables or fruit and a starch. It cost $25," she said.
Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program like the expanded choices. "There is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can receive. We accept EBT cards, cash and checks," Donahue said.
A refrigerated delivery truck drops off the Thayer food orders at the Trinity Worship Center in West Plains and a volunteer from the local host site picks the food up and brings it back to Thayer. The truck serves approximately 10 host sites in the area.
Most people place their order and pay for their food the beginning of the month and the food is delivered and picked up near the middle of the month. People can also order for next month the day they pick up their food.
Volunteers from around the community help with the food distribution. Donahue said most of the volunteers come from the First Assembly of God Church.
"Some people buy what we call a Blessing Box. If they know a person or family in need they purchase a Blessing Box for them and remain anonymous. It's both a blessing and a bargain," she said.
For more information about the Angel Food Ministries in Thayer, call Donahue at 264- 7724 or the First Assembly of God Church at 264-2525.