August Grulich carries a bag of onions to the distribution site during Saturday’s Angel Food Ministries food distribution at Fellowship Baptist Church. More than 440 boxes of food went to 220 people Saturday.
Mission distributes discount grocery orders
May 18, 2008
Couple partners with Angel Food Ministries to help lower food costs
By Karen Mahoney
More than 2,000 years ago, according to the Bible, Jesus blessed five loaves of bread and two fishes, producing a miracle that fed over 5,000.
Angel Food Ministries Inc. feeds a family of four for a week on just $30, and many consider that a miracle too.
Through the perseverance of August Grulich and Sheila Partner, who started the Kenosha New Hope Mission for the homeless, the ministry is taking root in Kenosha with the goal of helping every resident – no matter their income level – to lower the cost of their monthly grocery bill.
“This is a wonderful program based out of Georgia and has grown to serve over 500,000 families a month, and now with our location, they are in 36 states,” Grulich said Saturday during the food distribution in Kenosha. “There are no qualifications, no income requirements and no volunteer requirements – but if you would like to help, the answer is yes.”
Rising grocery prices are what brought Sandy Szostak, a single mom from Kenosha, to Fellowship Baptist Church on Saturday to pick up her order from Angel Food Ministries. Barely struggling by on food stamps each month, meal planning, and careful shopping, the $30 box of groceries from the ministry has helped her and her children eat healthy for the entire month.
“The first order I received felt like Christmas morning,” she said, “My neighbor and I came together and were going to sit and have some tea together when we got home so we could unwind a bit. Neither of us had the tea because we were so excited and just felt like we needed to cook something. The food is wonderful, all name brand, no seconds or dented cans, and the meat is almost identical to what you might buy through Schwann’s.”
The ministry sells a box of groceries valued at $60 or more each month, for $30. Anyone can participate. After humble beginnings of just 18 customers, Saturday’s delivery netted over 440 units to 220 people.
“This program will help a lot of people,” said pastor Sam Kostreva of Fellowship Baptist Church.
A proponent of the program, he worked with a similar ministry at his former church in Michigan.
“It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor – there are no requirements except wanting to get good value for your food dollar,” he said.
The program aims to give people a hand up, not a handout, and according to Grulich, offers hope during these difficult economic times.
“This is all to help the community, and it is a blessing to me as well because it helps the homeless shelter that I run,” he said.
New Hope Mission Inc. receives $1 for each box handled. With more than 400 boxes purchased this month, Grulich is pleased to see the funds benefit those who need it most.
Angel Food distributes any remaining profits among different ministries. When manufacturers donate food, as they sometimes do, Angel Food gives it to the needy, such as survivors of natural disasters.
Each box of food the program distributes includes a glossy magazine with recipes, testimonies and information on how to become a Christian.
Moreover, the program brings people back to the church month after month to pick up their orders.
“The church has been wonderful in wanting to help us get this going,” said Grulich. “I am happy to see all the people walking through its doors – maybe some of them will decide to stay.”
The menu changes from month to month. Customers can buy as many boxes of food as they want for $30 each and can also buy “specials,” often steaks or seafood. They pick up their order later that month at Fellowship Baptist Church.