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Last updated: Sat. Sep. 24, 2011 - 07:09 am EDT

Angel Food Ministries shutting down, cites economy

ATLANTA — Angel Food Ministries - which had sites at Saturn Church in Fort Wayne and the St. Andrew EPC, in Auburn - is going out of business after 17 years of providing discounted groceries to needy families across the country, citing the economic downturn affecting many customers.

The multi-million dollar food nonprofit said it was ceasing operations immediately, according to a statement provided to The Associated Press.

Angel Food was started in 1994 by pastors Joe and Linda Wingo with 34 families in Monroe, Ga. At its height, the organization grew through a network of churches to feed more than 500,000 families a month in 45 states. The organization ran into trouble in 2009 when the FBI searched its offices. The Wingos and one of their sons were on staff.

Joe Wingo's reported salary in 2009 was more than $694,000.

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