Last week I received a phone call. It was a pre-recorded message. This is basically what it said:
A single search warrant was executed today on Angel Food Ministries home office. Angel Food Ministries believes that this is an investigation of an individual or individuals connected to the organization, and not regarding the ministry itself, its service to the public or its host sites in any way.al.
The Board of Directors has pledged full cooperation with government officials.
Angel Food Ministries, welcoming its 15th year of serving food to those in need, reaches 39 states to hundreds of thousands of families with nearly six million boxes distributed in 2008. It is our mission to do that, and it will continue to do so. AFM is taking orders and is prepared to fill them as usu
Of course, I was concerned. My wife and I brought the information regarding Angel Food to our church about 3 years ago and our church jumped in and started working. Three years later we've served as many as 200 boxes in a month, and average close to 50 each month. We've picked up our food at locations in 4 different counties, and we've always felt like we were doing good work.
We still do. But now we have questions. Employee compensation in non-profits is a touchy subject, and based on the reports I've read (I'll put some sources at the end of the article for anyone who wants to dig a little deeper)the IRS gave the board at Angel Food advice to diversify when they began the work in 2000. They should have done that. They didn't, and as a result, voting themselves a large pay raise and taking out loans against the company looks suspicious.
I don't know where this story will end. I hope this weekend when we distribute food, we have more information, but it's not looking like it. The Angel Food Ministries website has no additional information (you get the quote from above if you click the Important News link).
We discussed this in class on Sunday and the consensus was that we carry on. This month we have more orders than we've had in about a year, and it continues to be more than $30 worth of food for $30. But we will be praying for discernment and wisdom as we try to follow God's will.
Angel Food site
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Public Opinion Online
Ministry Watch: list of issues with charities. (pdf file)
Angel Food and USDA partnership (pdf file)