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Posted: September 21, 2011 6:21 p.m.

Angel Food Ministries to shut down

ATLANTA (AP) - Angel Food Ministries is going out of business after 17 years of providing discounted groceries to needy families across the country, citing the economic downturn affecting many of the organization's customers as its downfall.

The multi-million dollar food nonprofit says it will cease 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 35 states. The organization ran into trouble in 2009 when the FBI searched its offices. The Wingos and their two sons were all on staff and had $500,000 yearly salaries.

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