Rough Economy Hurts Nonprofit’s Ability To Help Others
by Marcus Washington
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - During these tough economic times a lot of people have been turning to nonprofits to find relief with their monthly bills, but some of those groups have had to cut back due to lack of funds.
Feeding a family of five can become pretty expensive, especially for the Kirby family.
"My husband is a teacher and I'm a stay at home mom, so we don't have a lot of fluid money," said Misty Kirby.
Misty Kirby heard about the nonprofit group, Angel Food Ministries - who could provide a month's worth of groceries for her family for fewer than $50 - she said it was a perfect match.
Recently that good news turned sour when she learned Angel Food would stop distribution in September.
"I was shocked," said Kirby. "I couldn't believe it. Where we go, the North Side [Church of Christ], there was always an interest."
North Side Church of Christ served as a distribution center for Angel Food Ministries in Middle Tennessee. A big truck would come and bring tons of food that would supply eight churches in the area with food – including the North Side Church of Christ.
Now that Angel Food Ministries has closed for the month, many people aren't sure what they are going to do.
"While most of the majority of the people will not feel a blip from Angel Food disappearing, it's the handful of people, those that really need the help the most, they're the ones that are going to feel the brunt of it," said Stan Cunningham who helps organize the program at North Side Church of Christ.
Cunningham said this didn't come as a total surprise after reports the nonprofit laid off many staff members after years of poor management.
In a statement the Georgia based organization said , "We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to the hundreds of thousands of customers who have come to rely on us every month, to our Host Sites and to the thousands of volunteers who join us in serving God by helping those in need."
Many volunteers have worried that since the decision was already made to close down in September, it may not be easy to resume services.
"I think it will be hard for Angel Food ministries to pick up in October like nothing has happened. I don't see that happening," said Cunningham.
Many families have to sit and wait to see if the organization will deliver on what they have expected to receive.
"The Lord has provided before and he will provide again. We'll take whatever comes, whatever we have to do," said Kirby.
Angel Food Ministries did not say when or if they will continue distribution of food, but officials said the organization has faced significant challenges due to the economy.