The FBI is investigating Angel Food Ministries, but what they are looking for is not exactly clear. Among the allegations in selected news articles, it appears that four members of the family who are serving as CEO’s of the organization have been paid in excess of 2 million dollars between them, with the highest paid CEO being the founder who collected $588,000 for one year.
Be that as it may, I find the founding principles of the establishment of our nation as being a great place to start when hearing new news. That being, Innocent until proven guilty. This article is based on innocence first and the acknowledgement of the good, that Angel Food Ministries has done for many people around the country.
OK, I know that such figures may seem excessive to most of us in the working world, but by the same token, is there a cap on non profit workers and CEO’s salaries? If I founded an organization that reaches out and helps thousands of people with over 100 million dollars in funds, does the government or any one else have the right to tell me how much I can make, or be able to determine how much it may cost me to travel and promote my organization? If they are in fact taking salaries in excess of a half a million dollars per year, what are they doing with that money? Minister Ray Owens runs a homeless shelter and received a free van and food to help his outreach to the poor, did this come from the Organization or did it come from them personally?
So they have a big salary and they set their own salaries, so do the leaders of our country who are making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year salary, not to mention extra benefits and lobby contributions. How many times have we heard of other major organizations where someone at the top was making a fortune? Organizations like Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and others have all been under scrutiny of such accusations, but what are the benefits?
Angel Food Ministries delivers boxes of food at below retail prices to many needy people across the country, the food is distributed through churches, and the churches are also paid up to $2.00 per box of distributed food, for their benevolence funds. For those who do not know, the benevolence fund is money used to help those in need within the church and local community. On comment posted on Frugal Living at About.com, (post #88, link at the end of the article) mentions how the founder relinquished his entire salary one year to pay off debts. Churches who are involved in this ministry have called after a natural disaster like one church in a community struck by a tornado, and Angel Food ministries send a full semi load of food, about 30,000 pounds worth, free of charge to help those in need. It certainly seems as though this organization has done a lot of good, and they have a heart to help others.
Should the organizers of Angel Food Ministries, an organization that has helped so many, not be rewarded well for their efforts? I don’t think they should be struggling to make their own ends meet when they are helping so many others, nor do I feel they should not be rewarded greatly. While the Christian ministry is based on Biblical principles, and yes Jesus and His apostles may have been poor financially, we can also look at other Biblical figures like Saul, David, Solomon, and Job, all of whom may be among the wealthiest people in all of history. I am certainly more in favor of a Christian ministry being rewarded richly than I am the CEO’s of companies who have betrayed the American Workers by outsourcing their jobs to cheap labor so they can pad their own pockets, or CEO’s of other companies we’ve seen in recent history where embezzlement and shady dealings made a few CEO’s overly wealthy through dishonest business practices.
The bottom line in my book is, if Angel Food Ministries are helping others and are being honest in their books and business dealings, then more power to them and what an example of the land of opportunity. We need more people who are willing to help others in exchange for an income that can spur our weak economy. Perhaps their biggest crime is exactly that, while our government continues to support business practices that are crushing the American economy, they are proving that prosperity can exist despite their efforts. Oh yeah, one other thing that must be squashed, they are a Christian Organization, and in a time of political correctness and religious tolerance for all religions except Christianity, something wrong must be found to shut them down.
See post #88