Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Angel Food Ministries

Note: Click here for recipes I have made that included Angel Food Ministries food box ingredients. Hopefully this will be expanded as the blog moves along.

I have to put in a quick plug for Angel Food Ministries because it has been such a saving grace for my family - especially in these difficult times. With the exception of recent holiday purchases, my primary groceries are purchased through AFM and since we are on a fixed pension, it truly has helped tremendously with our food budget. One of the blogs I follow belongs to Susanne over at Hillbilly Housewife, who graciously posts monthly menus that go along with the AFM boxes. Besides having a great website with some basic, frugal and delicious recipes, Susanne is just a sweetheart. She's dealing with a loss many of us cannot imagine and feeling a bit down so if you have a minute stop by and give her some encouragement if you can.

Angel Food Ministries is not a charity - it's more like a food co-op than anything really - there are no special requirements, no applications, anyone can participate, and if fact if you are blessed enough to have more than enough, you can simply order meal boxes through AFM to give away to families you know of who are in need in your area. Many sites now take online orders which allows you to use your debit or credit card online, and all host sites accept food stamps. To find a host site near you, go here and plug in your zip code.

The deadline for January ordering varies by location - at my host site I can order online until January 11th. Pick up dates are generally 2 weeks after the last day to order.

Hubs and I are still working on trying to eat up those freezer Senior meals that I ended up with after I totally lost track of days and forgot to pick up my December boxes right before Thanksgiving. We really need to get the freezer cleaned out, especially since I just went grocery shopping (because I have some yummy meals planned to show ya'll) and this Saturday it is time for the next box pickup so I'll be filling up the freezer again.

I have to admit that these little meals are better than I expected, though not something I will probably buy in the future just because I prefer cooking fresh. Still, these appear to be home made dinners that have been packaged in divided plates and then frozen and would be wonderful for anybody who is worried that their elderly parents or even an elderly neighbor may not be eating regularly.

Update: I recently had a reader email to ask about preparation of the senior meals after having a parent complain of hard edges on the meats and mushy vegetables. Now, I'm certainly no expert, but here's my reply in case anybody else happens across this from a google search on how to prepare Angel Food Ministries senior meals.
...microwaves tend to vary so much so she may need to go a shorter time if she's got a powerful microwave.

I had a couple left in the freezer so I grabbed one of the chili con carne with beans dinner with mac and carrots. Here's what it says and if I recall most of them were along the same lines.

If the dinner is frozen most of them say to go for 10 to 12 minutes on high, if thawed 8 to 10 minutes, then need to rest for 10-15 minutes before eating, though honestly we never waited that long! Most of them also say to vent by cutting into all four corners of the top so if she's not doing that it could be over steaming the veggies and making them mushy.

They can also be done in the oven, so she might have better luck with that - vent the same way, cook at 300 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes if frozen. If thawed 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. The seniors at the church where I pick up RAVE over how good these meals are and they keep buying them month after month so they must be pretty good! This church actually even serves an entire retirement home they have so many orders there.
I'm posting the food boxes for January 2009 to give you an idea of what you can buy. You must purchase at least one of the basic boxes to buy any of the specials, and you may also purchase the basic boxes in multiples if you would like. The combination of the boxes with the purchase of the other boxes is where you will find the best variety and most savings, than with just the basic boxes alone. If you could use a hand with your grocery costs, look into Angel Food Ministries. It truly is a blessing.

Basic Box #1 - REGULAR BOX - $30
Balanced nutrition and variety with enough food to feed a family of four for a week.

1.5 lb. Ribeye Steak (4 x 6 oz.)
4 lb. Leg Quarters
1.5 lb. Beef Patties (4 x 6 oz.)
18 oz. Cheese Filled Manicotti
2 lb. Pork Rib Strips
1 lb. Chicken Breast Fajita Strips
1 lb. Ground Turkey
1 lb. Broccoli
1 lb. Peas
6 ct. Oatmeal Variety Box
2 each-Regular, Maple Brown Sugar and Apple Cinnamon
32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
8 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix
12 ct. White Corn Tortillas
1 lb. Pinto Beans
7 oz. Chicken Flavored Rice & Vermicelli
One Dozen Eggs
Dessert Item

Basic Box #2 - SENIOR/CONVENIENCE BOX $28 (these are what I was discussing above)

For Seniors or People on the Go! Ten perfectly seasoned, nutritionally balanced, fully cooked meals—just heat and serve. Each meal has been developed with the dietary needs of senior citizens in mind, and contains 3 oz. of protein, a starch & two vegetables or fruit.

1. New Orleans Style Chicken over Savory Rice with Okra & Tomatoes and Diced Sweet Potatoes
2. Grilled Chicken Strips & Penne Pasta with Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce, Capri Blend Vegetables and Green Beans with Onions and Red Peppers
3. Beef & Bowtie Pasta with Herbed Tomato Sauce, Capri Blend Vegetables and Corn
4. Flame-Broiled Salisbury Steak with Brown Gravy, Sour Cream & Chive Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
5. Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole with Rice, Green Beans and Squash Medley
6. Classic Chicken Tetrazzini with Diced Carrots and Green Peas
7. Country Fried Steak with Cream Gravy, Red Skin Whipped Potatoes and Mixed Vegetables
8. Spaghetti with Meatballs, Green Beans and Cinnamon Applesauce
9. Chicken Parmesan with Whipped Potatoes and Capri Blend Vegetables
10. Flame-Broiled Beef Patty with Onion Gravy, Sour Cream & Chive Potatoes and Capri Blend Vegetables

10 Desserts included with Senior/Convenience Meals

JANUARY SPECIAL #1 - 6 lb. Assorted Combo Box $22.00

1.5 lb. Bone-In New York Strips (2 x 12 oz.)
1 lb. Sirloin Strips (2 x 8 oz.)
1.5 lb. Boneless Pork Chops -Thick Cut (4 x 6 oz.)
2 lb. Hamburger Steak (4 x 8 oz.)

JANUARY SPECIAL #2 - 4.5 lb. Bacon-Wrapped Meat Combo $21.00

1.5 lb. Bacon-Wrapped Beef Filet (4 x 6 oz.)
1.5 lb. Bacon-Wrapped Pork Filet (4 x 6 oz.)
1.5 lb. Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Filet (4 x 6 oz.)

JANUARY SPECIAL #3 - 3.75 lb. T-Bone Special $21.00

3.75 lb. T-Bone Steaks (5 x 12 oz.)

JANUARY SPECIAL #4 - 10 lb. Chicken Combo Box $20.00

4.5 lb. (avg.) Whole Perdue Chicken
2 lb. Wings
2 lb. Chicken Nuggets
2 lb. Breaded Chicken Tenders

JANUARY SPECIAL #5 - Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box $21.00

4 lb. New Crop Idaho Baking Potatoes
3 lb. New Crop North Carolina Sweet Potatoes
2 lb. Western Grown Medium Yellow Onions
4 lb. Tree Ripened Navel Oranges
½ lb. New Crop Georgia Grown Pecan Halves
2 ea. Tree Ripened Florida Red Grapefruit
1 head New Crop Florida Green Cabbage
1 lb. Western Grown Carrots (cello packed)
4 ea. Tree Ripened Florida Tangerines
4 ea. Washington State Bosc Pears

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