Angel Food Ministries Ceases Operations
After 17 years in operation national organization announced it is closing its doors for good.
As was the case a couple of weeks ago when Angel Food Ministries announced it wouldn't be able to fulfill its September orders, a statement on the website Wednesday announced the organization's final demise.
"Angel Food Ministries has considered many options regarding our future. At this time we regret to inform you that we have not found a solution that will allow Angel Food Ministries to continue to distribute food on a monthly basis and have decided to cease operations. We realize the pressure that this places on our host sites, community food banks and customers," the statement read.
It went on to note that a small group of former employees and food vendors were working to find a way to serve those who had come to rely on AFM during the 17 years of its existence.
The statement pointed to the fact that many food ministries had gone out of business in recent years, saying AFM had not been immune from the same economic and market conditions.
AFM went on to note that, with the help of a volunteer staff, 98 percent of the customers who had placed orders for September had already received a full refund. The organization was working to refund the balance of customers who had placed orders through SNAP benefits since federal regulations prevent a refund being send in the form of a check for those customers.
This end of AFM has far reaching implications for many churches and food banks nationwide that had come to rely on the low cost food boxes to help feed impoverished communities.
AFM, first formed in 1994 by Joseph and Linda Wingo, built itself up into a national organization selling cheap food to the poor as well as anyone else who wanted to buy the discounted food. The organization, however, has faced several challenges since 2009 after a raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and several lawsuits filed by former employees.