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Food Storage

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Food Storage {Family Emergency Preparedness Series} @ AVirtuousWoman.org

{photo credit: Kim Newberg}

Family Emergency Preparedness

You can read the rest of the article in the Family Emergency Preparedness Series here.

Should Christians prepare for an uncertain future?

Proverbs 30:24-25 says, “Four things are small on the earth, But they are exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong people, But they prepare their food in the summer…”

Proverbs 21:20 says, “The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down.”

1 Timothy 5:8 says, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

The average American family has less than a week’s worth of food in their home. And the average American family relies on the idea that there will always be food on the grocery store shelves. And maybe the grocery stores will always be stocked. But in this fragile economy, in this volatile society, how can we be sure?

I believe with all of my heart that Jesus is coming back very, very soon. But what if it happens years from now? What if our country goes through another Great Depression – or worse an economic collapse?

150 years ago putting up food for the winter – to get your family through until the next harvest was normal.

There wouldn’t be people questioning a Christian’s root cellar being full of food. They would probably think just the opposite – that by not preparing, the husband was neglecting his family.

Proverbs 27:12 says, “A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

There are a number of reasons why you might need to rely on food storage. 

  • job loss
  • natural disaster
  • terrorist attack
  • injury or illness
  • pandemic
  • rising food prices
  • food shortage
  • economic crisis

How much food do you need? You can decide how much food you’d like to set aside for a crisis or emergency. At a minimum, I would say you should have at least two to three week’s worth of food set aside. Depending on what you are planning for, you may feel better about having a larger supply of food available. Having enough food for a month or two or longer could mean that you are able to help others in times of disaster. It could also mean you don’t have to stand in line to get rations.

There are calculators available to help you determine how much food you need based on the number of people in your household. But these calculators only take into account the very basic of foods.

How Much Food Do You Need

Really, your food stores should be basic foods that you eat regularly. It’s important to know how to cook the food you store. So, for instance, if you’ve never baked bread before and you have a bucket of wheat in your pantry for emergencies, when an crisis happens is not the time you want to be trying to figure out how to bake bread. For a true survival situation, you need to think about calorie dense foods that will sustain life, i.e. potatoes are better than cucumbers.

To figure out how much food you need, make a list of your family’s favorite meals that can be prepared from pantry stable foods. Then, decide how often you want to eat each meal each month. Finally, make a list of the ingredients you need to prepare the meal and multiply this by how many times you want to eat it per month times the number of months.

So, in other words, if you want to eat chili once a month for 3 months you need to have enough dried or canned beans, tomatoes, and seasonings to make a pot of chili 3 times. If you want to have cornbread to serve with your chili, you need to have enough cornmeal, flour, baking powder, powdered milk, etc. to make cornbread 3 times. Recipes calling for eggs will need an appropriate substitution assuming that fresh eggs were not available – either powdered eggs or an egg substitute. Easy!

You might want to create your list on a spread sheet to make shopping easier. After you make your meal list, you’ll need to make a shopping list. You probably will not be able to buy all of your year’s supply of food at once, but as you plan your meals, set aside extra grocery money each month to build up your food supply. As you use food from your food storage, be sure to make a note to purchase those items on your next shopping trip!

Ultimately, we place our trust in God – not in our ability to prepare. Having food storage is like having home insurance. You might never need it – but what if something unforeseen happens? And should something happen to your food storage “insurance,” then we still have our faith in God because He is our Provider.

More Resources

Have you set aside some extra food for hard times?

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! I also believe Jesus is coming soon and we need to be prepared! The value of the dollar is decreasing at a fast pace and soon we won't be able to afford the food on the shelves. This was a great reminder to prepare for my family.
  2. I have been a planner for many years,when I was taking care of my son he is 31 now,I had to learn how to prepare sooner than later. I am not a prepper who has a bunker and supplies for 20 years but I do have more than enough to last a month or more.. The only item I have not nearly of is water,and would like to know how to store it safely.You are so right about taking a little bit of your monthly food money and buy a few extras. My grocery budget for 2 adults and a dog is $80.oo a week, sounds like a lot but that includes everything all cleaning,paper dog food.I use coupons and shop the sales so what ever I save from coupons I spend on extra's, I am also looking forward to the time Jesus comes!!!

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