In January, Heritage Baptist Church in Waxahachie joined the ranks of the many churches and other organizations in 32 states offering Angel Food Ministries to the community.

Accord-ing to the Angel Food Ministries Web site, Angel Food Ministries is a nonprofit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing grocery relief to communities throughout the United States. By placing orders with participating organizations organizations and churches, people can order boxes of food at a comparably lower price than that of grocery stores.

The organization began by serving 34 families in February of 1994 and in 2006 served more than 500,000 families.

“We wanted to help the community,” said Margie Deal with Heritage Baptist Church. “It’s not just for needy people, it’s for anyone in the church or community that wants to participate.”

Participating organizations and churches set up dates for people to place orders around the middle of the month, with deliveries occurring at the end of the month. People order off a menu that changes monthly.

The menu offers family-sized frozen meal entrees, such as lasagna, manicotti, steak dinners and chicken tenders, along with family-sized servings of sides, such as French fries, rice, pasta salad, beans and carrots. One medium-sized box filled with items such as those listed above costs $25.

Angel Food Ministries also offers monthly specials, with June’s special including a 5.5 pound grill box filled with New York strips, Italian sausage and chicken breast fillets for $18.

“Generally, one unit of food will assist in feeding a family for a week or a single senior citizen for a month,” Deal said. “The food is all the same high quality one would purchase at a grocery store. There are no damaged or second-hand items.”

Items are both frozen and fresh.

Heritage Baptist Church will accept orders at the church after the morning and evening services, at about 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10. The church will also take orders from 6-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, and after the morning service Sunday, June 17. Payment in cash and checks will be accepted at the time the order is placed.

Orders may be picked up at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 30.

“Everyone that has participated has loved it. They think it’s a great value and the food is great,” Deal said. “The majority of the people who order are not church members. It has spread by word of mouth. We see orders increasing with every month.”

Deal described Angel Food Ministries as an opportunity to help those in need, such as those who can’t afford all the necessary groceries or senior citizens who can’t get out and about as well as they would like.

“It’s a great way to help those in need. Someone can purchase a unit for someone in need. It’s a great way to minister to someone,” Deal said. “It’s really great for the seniors. The food will last them almost a month if they supplement with fruit and vegetables. They usually get a lot of frozen vegetables in the boxes, too.”

Heritage Baptist Church is located at 1000 Butcher Road in Waxahachie and can be reached at (972) 938-1463 for further information.

The full monthly menu can be viewed by visiting the Angel Food Ministries Web site, www.angelfoodministries.org.