Food Storage

Mormon Food Storage

There are so many people out there with questions about Mormon food storage, I decided to dedicate this page to the subject of food storage and emergency preparedness. Feel free to ask any questions you have using the “Ask a Question” page.

Food Storage Introduction

Why do Mormons store food?

We store food so that we can be prepared to care for ourselves, our families, and our neighbors in case of an emergency. Mormons understand that our basic human needs must be met before we can think about spiritual matters. Food storage ensures that those needs will be met.

If you think back to all of the various natural disasters that have struck in the US alone over the past few years, you’ll realize that storing a few emergency supplies is a great idea for everyone.

How much food do Mormons store?

72hr KitsA 72hr Kit is usually a backpack or other easy to carry bag that has enough supplies it it for one person for 72hrs. This might include food, water, personal hygiene products, first aid supplies, and anything else that might come in handy. The purpose of the 72hr kit is to provide “essentials” in the case of an emergency that might drive you from your home. Year SupplyThe “year’s supply” of food that the Mormon church is famous for is a councel that is given to all members of the Mormon faith, and really, to everyone. There isn’t a person out there that would not benefit from having such a backup supply on-hand. The food storage that most people reference when talking about mormon food storage is the Years supply.

We are encouraged to store up to a years supply of food where possible. Often, Mormons will start by getting just a few extra cans at the grocery store every week, and building up from a week’s supply, to two weeks, to a month, and so forth. At some point we’ll usually purchase bulk grains and other long-lasting foods.

What kinds of food do Mormons store?

Most Mormons who store food will try to store the types of foods that they are used to eating, so that they may rotate through their storage, always keeping it fresh and updated.  Common items include grains, flour, sugar, salt, dried beans, dried vegetables, drink mixes, powdered milk, and many other items.

Where do Mormons buy their storage foods?

You may have heard about Mormon “Canneries.” These are facilities operated by the Mormon church (all volunteer) which process bulk foods into easier to manage packaging for storage. An example might be to “dry pack” a 50lb bag of grain into multiple #10 cans, sealing them to last for years, yet be much easier to use than a large bag. When you store food in this way, it is easier to rotate. The Mormon church also has “wet pack” canneries, where they can things like fruits and vegetables which are not dehydrated.

Can anyone use a Mormon cannery?

Yes, visitors are welcome. Prices are very reasonable. Call up your local missionaries and have them connect you with a local congregation. Just let the missionaries know that you just want help getting access to a cannery. You can also just drop by a cannery! Tell them that you’re interested in learning about the cannery and using the facility, and they’ll be glad to help. Hours vary, so consider contacting the missionaries in your area, or use the new Meeting House Locator to get the phone number of a local meeting house.

Do Mormons store other items besides food?

Mormons are encouraged to store food, water, heating fuel, clothing and other essential supplies where appropriate, legal, and feasible. If you think about it, many situations might call for a supply on-hand of things like toilet paper, soap, clean bedding, clothes, firewood, and many other useful items.

How can I get started in home food storage?

The easiest way to get started is to “do it.” Start by buying a few extra canned items your next trip to the grocery store. Get things that you know you’ll use. After you build up a week’s worth of food, consider getting some “raw material” type supplies: flour, corn meal, oil, sugar. Learn to bake and cook with these “raw materials”, and you’ll be getting closer to self reliance (and saving money versus buying pre-made foods!) Next, consider purchasing these same types of “raw materials” in larger quantities: instead of a 5lb bag of flour, find a source for a 25lb bag. Get a 25lb bag of sugar. You’ll be surprised at how fast you go through them, and how your grocery budget will start to stretch even farther.

The goal in all of this is to eventually learn how to store and grind your own grains, and be self sufficient enough to make your own food for you and your family. If you’re already in the habit of buying and using what you store, you’ll automatically be prepared for whatever comes your way! A simple thing like unemployment can be a real stress on a family. Imagine how much less stressful it would be if your family were well fed through the ordeal!

Additional Food Storage Resources

The internet is overflowing with resources for food storage. Use them! Here are just a few links to get you started:

Beyond “Food” Storage

One final thing to consider: man cannot live on bread alone. While you work on building up a store of food and other essential items, remember to include copies of your religious texts (scriptures), and other meaningful items that will bring you comfort and guidance in times of need. Get a spare copy of the Bible, Book of Mormon, or any other sacred book that you would want to have around, and store it in a safe place along with your emergency supplies. Consider also storing a spare journal and pencils that you can use to write your thoughts and feelings during hard times. There is more to life than just surviving, no matter how hard times get!


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