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The Angel Food Ministries controversy – lawsuit settled, folks relieved

If you’ve read me for at least the past couple of months, you know I am a big supporter of Angel Food Ministries.

Earlier this month I was concerned when the FBI raided the headquarters of the Atlanta-Based organization, which makes it possible for folks to have quality, balanced meals at discounted prices.

I’m happy to report that a lawsuit filed against Angel Food CEO Joseph Wingo has been settled – and Angel Food plans to continue serving folks through its ministry.

From The Oklahoman:

Angel Food Ministries, a Georgia-based ministry under investigation by the FBI, has settled a lawsuit filed by two board members who sought to change its leadership.

The ministry that distributes food to the needy issued a statement March 6 saying the lawsuit was dismissed and an agreement reached about its future.

“Joseph Wingo remains the chairman and CEO, and the Wingo family, who founded the ministry and devoted their lives to see it grow, remain at the helm,” the ministry said.

A lawsuit filed in February by board members Craig Atnip of Texas and David “Tony” Prather of Georgia asked a Walton County Superior Court judge to ban Wingo, his wife, Linda, and their sons, Andy and Wesley, from the ministry’s property.

Angel Food, which distributes $30 boxes of food through tens of thousands of volunteers nationwide, has come under scrutiny for unusually large compensation paid to members of the Wingo family.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported March 6 that the agreement calls for the cancellation of the Wingos’ company credit cards and a financial audit of the ministry. Joseph Wingo also is expected to sign over to Angel Food a company he owns that rented a corporate jet to the ministry at a profit of $10,000 a month.

Atnip and Prather agreed to resign from the board but will retain the ability to take action when the audit is completed, their attorney Thomas Rogers said.

Lawyers speaking during the hearing said Linda Wingo and Andy Wingo have left their positions with the ministry, the newspaper reported.

In a previous statement, Angel Food Ministries acknowledged that a grand jury investigation has begun “into alleged financial irregularities concerning certain individuals.” It claimed the two board members, who accused ministry leaders of enriching themselves, were trying to make a “power grab.”

The board members had countered that they were trying to help the ministry survive after questions were raised about the compensation packages.

In its announcement of the settlement, Angel Food Ministries said it had distributed 530,000 food boxes in February, a ministry milestone.

I placed my Angel Food order last week and plan to pick it up next week. Keep in mind that there are NO income requirements for Angel Food. They take food stamps – and seriously. If you don’t use it and it’s in your area, by all means, check it out. It’s great.

The April menu was just released, and it includes the following items in its regular box for $30:

1.5 lb. New York Strip Steak (4 x 6 oz.)
2 lb. Chicken Breast Stir Fry (Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast Chunks)
2 lb. Breaded Breast Fillet
1 lb. Steak Fajita Strips
20 oz. Supreme Pizza
28 oz. Jumbo Beef Patties With Gravy
1 lb. All Meat Hot Dogs
10 oz. Individually-Wrapped Cheese (16 slice)
1 lb. Mixed Vegetables
2 lb. French Fries
12 ct. White Corn Tortillas
1 lb. Rice
15 oz. Peach Halves
6 oz. Pancake Mix
32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
Dozen Eggs

Participate, tell your friends, spread the word. This is one of the best ways to save money during these hard times.

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The Angel Food Ministries controversy

Last month I told all of you about how wonderful of an organization Angel Food Ministries is.

But lately, the ministry has been the subject of controversy – particularly in the wake of an FBI raid on the organization’s headquarters just outside of Atlanta.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been keeping up with the story.

Extremely high salaries for founder Joe Wingo and his family members, unsecured loans, and several expenditures that are questionable for an organization geared to helping the poor have come up.

It is a double-edged sword, because so many people – myself and many friends of mine included – have benefited from this program, being able to purchase good, balanced food at extremely low prices.

So far, Angel Food Ministries plans to distribute this month, and has already published its March Menu on its web site. I hope that there is some way this ministry is able to continue – and hopefully corruption-free.

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