May 5, 2009

LDS Family Home (Food) Storage Guidelines: What I Recently Learned

I will be teaching a food storage class next week in my ward but I was concerned about a few things I've noticed in the new LDS Family Home Storage guidelines. I decided to contact leaders at Welfare Square and the LDS Church Welfare department to get some clarification on the new guidelines. I am so glad I did. I don't want you to feel that you have to call them. They've already been bombarded with many phone calls since the changes last year; however, the wonderful leaders that I spoke with helped me quite a bit. I would like to share a few things I learned. Please understand that this is my interpretation of what I heard, and not an official statement from the LDS Church:
  • The new Family Home Storage program was created to make it easier for members and others worldwide to accomplish the program. The information on ProvidentLiving.org has been kept simple which makes it easier to be translated into multiple languages. We must remember that we belong to a worldwide church.
  • The term "Year's Supply" of food is no longer part of the program terminology. However, you obviously have the freedom to store a year's supply of food if you decide this is the length of time that will work for your family, finances and circumstances. Some families store for a shorter period of time, and some longer. The main thing is to do what you feel is best for your family and to not go into debt to get it.
  • There is no longer a specific amount of water to store. Some families worldwide cannot store a 2-week supply of water and must filter their water regularly. Members are encouraged to decide on their own the amount of water they feel they should store in their homes.
  • There are no longer specific amounts of food to store. The former food storage calculator on ProvidentLiving.org was removed, and replaced with a very simple long-term food storage calculator. This of course does not mean this is all you should store. You are encouraged to decide on your own what your family eats and wishes to store. Members may use other food storage calculators created by others, however, it's important to store what your family will eat and adjust food storage calculators accordingly.
  • You may store foods your family normally eats for your 3-month food storage supply. This can include canned and commercially packaged foods. Foods should be storable, and many perishable foods would not last 3 months. "A portion of longer-term supply items may be rotated into the three-month supply." ProvidentLiving.org
  • Regarding establishing a financial reserve for emergencies, there are no specific amounts suggested. Families are to decide on their own what to save, and where to save it.
  • The main thing is to do something! Don't sit still, but start gathering your 3 month supply, some water, even if it is one can at a time.

We've been given agency to choose. We are encouraged to seek more information available from books, the web, blogs, etc., and to share our ideas. Sometimes we want it spelled out in detail which means we want someone else to do the math, the work, the thinking and the pondering for us. But I believe as we become wise stewards, we will be guided to know how best to care for the needs and circumstances of our individual families so that when adversity comes, and it always does, we will be prepared.

I will be editing some of my old posts to stay consistent with the guidelines of the Church. It will take some time, but I am excited about this Family Home Storage program and feel encouraged to continue to share my ideas with you.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for doing "the math, the work, the thinking and the pondering for us" in clarifying the new Church guidelines on this topic. :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing what you have learned. It's been difficult for me to change attitudes in family and friends to use what you store. I think most people can't get past the - "stock it away and use it when we are starving" attitude.

    Last year when I decided to get my storage going strong, I knew I did NOT want to store anything I didn't eat and would not rotate.

    In doing this, I have been able to build up my food storage and rotate it regularly. I love finding more recipes to use too. I know if there is an emergency my family will be eating normally and it won't be a shock to our system.

    I have a wheat grinder and make my own wheat bread regularly now. I implement beans in our diet too. It has been nice to get back to basics and eating heathier and eating the "food storage" way.

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  3. That's a great list and its manageable to do in a month. You have a great blog. You have motivated me to get my 72-hour kits ready. We went to the DI and got old backpacks to use. I am continuing to prepare them and buy something everytime I go to the store. It feels good to be more prepared. Thanks for bringing awareness and easy-to-use methods so we can be prepared.

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  4. In doing my homework on the Food Storage issue, I have come to a few conclusions.
    1st the church has simplified food storage by making the 3 month supply I believe, "hoping" the members of the church will look at it as a task they can achieve. Once you get started, you WILL gain a testimony of it, Just like you would any other principle of the gospel. With your testimony in place you will complete your year supply. I have noticed people have enough money for the things they make a priority in their life.
    My other conclusion was to work on my years supply of the 30 year long term while I was Working on my year supply of the eat what I store and store what I eat normal every day items.
    For those of you who think. There is no way I could afford that.
    My wife and I have been in school for 5 years with no income except student loans and grants.
    We have worked diligently each month with small contributions as President Hinckley suggested.
    We now are well on our way to our goal.
    The goal we set for our self was this.
    For the rest of our life we would be as faithful about food storage as we are about tithing.
    "no matter what" when we sit down to do our budget no matter how full our stock is, we will always budget in something for food storage each pay day just as we budget for tithing.
    If you are truly keeping your lamp oil full in anticipation for the bride groom, and you are constantly rotating your stock, you will always need to buy something to rotate your storage.
    If you make it a matter of testimony and place it next to your tithing in your budget you will be blessed.
    We have lived this advise and have been blessed with many miracles through out our school experience.

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  5. Thank you everyone for your comments!

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Thanks for your comments and suggestions!

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