Additional Resource

Provident Living Stretches the Family Food Budget

Rough economic times are prompting more people to stretch their incomes and make food go further. Cydne Watterson, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was featured recently by the Charlotte Observer showing how to can peaches.

And she’s not alone in her efforts to store food in case of an emergency. Last month Church Public Affairs asked members to share their experiences with maintaining food storage. Members responded enthusiastically by e-mailing links to their personal blogs and videos where they posted menus and favorite recipes such as “low fat wheat banana bread” and “sneaky creamy oatmeal mix.” There were cooking demonstrations and tips on how to store food properly as well as how to make the most of small budgets.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long encouraged its members to store extra food to provide for possible future needs caused by economic hardship, disasters or other emergencies. Encouraging individual members to be prepared is part of the Church’s overall welfare plan.

The First Presidency — the highest governing body of the Church — has asked that members be prepared “so that, should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors.”

The Church provides resources, including a Web site that teaches people how to select the right food and non-food items, as well as how to prepare for emergency situations. Information is also available on long-term food storage.

In addition, the Church has distributed ten million copies worldwide of the pamphlet Family Home Storage to teach food storage principles. Available in 23 languages, the Family Home Storage pamphlet suggests that families “store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted.” It also recommends “using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soda.”

“The pamphlet offers hope by showing it is possible for families to prepare for adversity, starting modestly by storing a few items of food, filling some leak-proof containers of water and saving a few coins each week” said Jeff Newey of the Church’s Welfare Services Department.

Latter-day Saint leaders, from the faith’s founder, Joseph Smith, to its current president, Thomas S. Monson, have been teaching principles of provident living and self-reliance since the 1800s. Some of these relate to education, work, thrift, saving, helping others by serving and making charitable donations and storing supplies for unforeseen difficult times.

At the recent semiannual world conference of the Church, Bishop Keith B. McMullin of the Presiding Bishopric quoted then-Church president Gordon B. Hinckley:

“The best place to have some food set aside is within our homes. ...

“We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. ... I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.

“Begin in a small way ... and gradually build toward a reasonable objective.”

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