Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Prudent Prepping: Taking Care of Others

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate  on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

Taking Care of Others:
It's Not Just For the Holidays

The holiday season can be a fun time of year to gather with friends and family to share happy times and events, but it can also be a time of stress. Not having enough food on your table, let alone enough money to pay the bills, is an extra stressor that many people have this time of year. While I do not have that problem, many in our communities do, and there is a way that anyone can help: Donate to your local Food Bank!

I make donations to Food Drives when I see the collection barrels, but there is a way to make donations that benefit others and yourself: donate your stored foods that are close to going past the 'Best By' date. You will notice that I said close to going past, and not actually past. I have marked the stored goods in my pantry and emergency stores with the purchase date so I can rotate items out of the bulk area and onto my regular pantry shelf, as this keeps the older goods rotating towards the front. Surprisingly (or not), my local Food Bank is looking for items that fit into what I and many other people put away in our stores:
  • Natural Peanut Butter 
  • Whole grain cereals 
  • Hearty low sodium soups 
  • Beans and Lentils -- dry or canned 
  • Water-packed tuna or chicken 
  • Canned fruit in juice 
  • Low sodium canned vegetables 
  • Brown rice 
  • Canned, low sodium ready-to-eat meals like chili and ravioli 
  • Whole wheat/grain pasta 
  • Canned tomato products

So by sorting my stored goods with the oldest marked items going out first, I can keep an eye on what is not being used quickly, and then donate the excess to the Food Bank if needed. Not only can I help those less fortunate than myself, I also keep fresh items in my reserve!

What I donated:
  • One jar of peanut butter 
  • 6 cans of chicken 
  • 10 lbs of dry beans 
  • 4 1lb pasta 
  • 4 cans pasta sauce
    These were all dated 'Best By' the middle or late 2015, but it is the perfect time to move some of these out, as I am not using them very quickly all by myself.

    Even if you don't have food that is expiring soon or you have long duration stores, this is a good time to consider buying an extra can or two and dropping them into the donation barrels most supermarkets have on display. You will be helping others and also helping yourself.

    Information from my local Food Bank:
    • 28% of food distributed is for children under 18. 8% are under the age of 5. 
    • Approximately 18% is for people over 65.
    • The average family income of recipients is $15,000 per year.

    If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

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