A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out



Back when I was a kid living in VA, I remember getting up at the crack of dawn one Saturday a month with my dad and sister and heading down to the church to help with SHARESelf Help and Resource Exchange.  We would buy ‘shares’ (boxes) of food for a low price (at the time, I think it was $10.  Now it’s $19) and receive $40 worth of brand-name foods: meats, vegetables, fruits and desserts.  In addition to getting this food package, we had to do two hours of community service a month.

This is where our early morning Saturday romps entered.  We would head down to the church to help distribute packages to the community.  I remember on some Saturdays going to the warehouse (big warehouse) and separating out the food to go to the individual host sites (churches, civic centers, etc).  We bought two shares a month and this helped feed our family of five.  The program, however, was opened to anyone who ate food.  (ie – everybody!)
When the Man Beast and I moved to the South, I figured we had left programs like this behind.  Not so.
About a year ago, I discovered The Angel Food Ministries.  The program is very similar to the SHARE program except that it’s slightly more expensive ($30) and no community service is required (but they could always use help!)
Where as SHARE serves the communities in DC, MD and VA,  AFM is currently serving 35 states (although their home base is here in GA).

Like SHARE, AFM is not based on income (great news for all of you who seem to ‘fall through the cracks’ when it comes to receiving help: you make too much for help, but not enough to live on).  It is estimated that AFM’s food packages are worth about $60 and each box provides food for a week for a family of four.  If you need more boxes, you simply buy them.

Both SHARE and Angel Food Ministries offers specialty boxes – grill packages offering grill-worthy meats, steak packages, fruit and veggie boxes, etc.  Every month, both organization’s menus change, as do their specialty boxes.  To pay for the food packages, both organizations accept cash,  EBT  and food stamps.  Some host sites might accept checks, too (although none of ours do locally).  SHARE accepts money orders.

For me, finding the time to go purchase a food package was next to impossible – all of the ordering places (a few churches and the Salvation Army) only accepted orders during times where I was at work.  So you can imagine how elated I was to learn that Angel Food Ministries accepts orders online!  You can pay with your debit card. (Since I’m not local, I don’t know if SHARE offers online ordering.  You can always call to find out.)

Here are April’s Menu for both SHARE and Angel Food Ministries:

SHARE (Main Package)

1.7 lbs Chicken Drums

Breaded Fish Fillets

1 lb Ground Beef

Turkey Sausage Link

Rotisserie Chicken Breast Deli Meat

Chocolate/Vanilla Pudding Cups

Macaroni and Cheese

3 lbs Potatoes

1.5 lbs Onions

Frozen Broccoli Cuts

1.13 lbs Green Cabbage

Green Peppers



SHARE (Grill Package)

Chicken Breast Fillets

Center Cut Pork Chops

Chicken Drums

Bacon Wrapped Turkey Mignon’s

Beef Patties

Smoked Dinner Sausage with Cheese


1.5 lb New York Strip Steak

2 lbs Chicken Breast Stir Fry

2 lbs Breaded Breast Fillet

1 lb Steak Fajita Strips

Supreme Pizza

Jumbo Beef Patties with Gravy

All Meat Hotdogs

Individually Wrapped Cheese

1 lb. Mixed Vegetables

2 lb. French Fries

White Corn Tortillas

1 lb Rice

Peach Halves

Pancake Mix

Shelf  Stable Milk

Dozen Eggs



6 lb Assorted Meat Box

4.5 Meat Combo

5 lb Steak and Pork Chop Combo

Chicken Breast Fillet Box

6 lb Hamburger Steak Box

Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box

Valencia Orange Box


3 thoughts on “A Hand Up, Not a Hand Out

  1. We buy Angel Food, I just placed our order yesterday, as a matter of fact. So much cheaper then the store. I just shared this with some friends last night, while egg coloring and they are going this morning. BLESSINGS DEAR FRIEND. BLESSINGS–ps. This is based on a family of 4, were a family of 3, and let me tell you, this food, has lasted nearly 3 1/2 weeks!

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