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Interesting news story and details on the Mormons preparation and distribution methods to those church members that need it.

Dec. 25, 2008 07:40 PM
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - The busy Bishop's Storehouse seems like any other grocery store at first glance. The shelves are neatly lined with canned goods. The mouthwatering smell of fresh bread wafts through the aisles.

But there are no cash registers here. The fruits and vegetables, just-made cheeses and milk are free - a safety net for those in need provided by the 13 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"We like to call it the best food money can't buy," said Jim Goodrich, who oversees the storehouse and other facilities on the church's 13-plus acre Welfare Square on Salt Lake City's west side.


Full news story here.
 

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To survive starvation in their beginnings, I can easily understand (as if I couldn't even without the starvation part) why the Mormons prepare for the worst.
 

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Pragmatist
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Great article.

I wonder how many people (who are not Mormon) would voluntarilly give up 2 meals a month to donate that to food banks?

This is exactly the type of programs I've talked about before and then had other posters come in and talk about how those "in need" folks were just looking for a handout and not worth teaching job skills to. And not just on this board, but in conversations elsewhere.

People get in bad situations. Often, just a little hand up gets most of 'em back on track.
 

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Great article.

I wonder how many people (who are not Mormon) would voluntarilly give up 2 meals a month to donate that to food banks?
Something in this article that would make a difference, at least for me, is the issue of oversight (not sure if that's entirely the correct word I'm looking for), or not just giving out the aid at random. The article states that while the Mormon church will not deny the aid if the person is unable to "pay" for it with something such as volunteering some hours; they do expect the person to at least make some effort to give something back in turn.

Meanwhile, at least where I am, the only criteria the foodbank uses is that anyone wishing to use the service can not make use of their services more than 4 times a year.

Perhaps I'm just too cynical and unforgiving, but a lot of my feelings on this come from seeing how this and any other forms of social "assistance" programs are abused by those who don't truly need them. I personally know 2 families who use/have used the local food bank (and they are the only 2 families I personally know who have made use of it) and neither of them are what I would classify as "needing" it. One is a guy I worked with, the other is the B.I.L. of a friend. Both are gainfully employed when they want to be, and both -always- have money for smokes and beer. Sorry, but if you can afford $10 for a pack of smokes and $30 for a flat of beer, you don't need someone buying your groceries for you.

As well, when I was younger, my father had some rental properties, and my job was to do minor repairs and repaint after moveouts. There were always some tenants on welfare. Those were always the ones whos duplex suite/apartment would be trashed once they were finally evicted, with junk piled everywhere, and reeking of everything including smoke (places were -always- rented as "non smoking"), and a fair bit of damage.

So while you are right, many many good people are just down on their luck temporarily and only need a minor hand up; sadly there are those who make it their business to make permanent use of what should only be a temporary service. Those are the ones who leave a bad taste in the mouths of many people.

Zito

PS. While I will never ever ever donate anything to a food bank, I do donate (both money as well as spare time when I can) to the Salvation Army. Simply because they as well have oversight of the aid they give, while doing so with a very generous heart.
 

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Zito,

First let me say I don't disagree with a lot of what you said, but here's my take on it:

Yes, there are some who are just taking hand outs and not contributing to society. Unfortunately, these people also breed and often there are children in this situation by no fault of their own. I can't punish the children for the shiftlessness of their parents by knowingly letting them go hungry.

I think that this idea that so many people take their "handouts" and still buy cigs and alcohol is exaggerated. I think there are more people in need who are doing the best they can to get by, including cutting out non-necessity items.

It doesn't sound like to me that the Mormon Church has much more oversight in their food bank than many others across the Nation. I suppose I could be wrong about that since I haven't looked at policy of more than a good handful, but most food banks have some sort of limitations on how long a family can use them as a primary food source.

I used this quote in another similar thread:

Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I believe that applies to a lot of people. There's a certain amount of psychology involved in doing charity work, both for the volunteer and the recipient. I know that I am still working through some of my own cynical feelings similar to yours in dealing with people because I feel the same way.... I don't mind helping someone who is in a bad situation; I just don't want to be a patsy for someone working the system.

There's a new show on Fox called Secret Millionaire.... each episode shows millionaires going undercover to try and find someone truly worthy of receiving a gift of their money. Can't say I'm too impressed with the fact that the millionaires have seemed so out of touch with the lower class' reality, but the people they find doing charity work in poor neighborhoods with little to no assistance from any monetary source makes me tear up. I truly believe there are more good people in this world than there are bad and the idea of "paying it forward" really does have merit. Maybe I won't always feel this way, but that feeling is a result of 4 decades+ of interacting with other humans in various situations and from various economic backgrounds. I'm actually less cyniucal now than I was 10 years ago if that makes any sense!

When I started getting involved with working with food banks, I asked a lot of the same questions brought up here. I asked how the volunteers dealt with knowing that some people were just fleecing them..... I was told that I would have to focus on the ones who really needed the help and the ones who were ready to ask for and accept assistance in improving their situation and just sort of try not to let the bad seeds affect the good work for the others. Otherwise, you grow bitter and even more cynical.

I truly believe in teaching a man to fish rather than just sharing my fish with him, but that can never be accomplished with an air of hostility or judgment.

On a good note, our kids at UGA who comprise our student volunteer force for Conscious Alliance in Athens, GA, collected over 5,200 lbs of non-perishable food to stock the Athens area food banks. That was more than any of the food banks recent quarterly totals for donations from individuals. I am so proud of them.... my heart nearly burst when they told me how much they had collected.

:clap:
 

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I think a more correct rendition of this article would have said - LDS church most prepared. Members need a shot in the arm in many places..... LDS members certainly have the information, products and experience available to them...it is up to them to take advantage of it. Not all of them do.

There is a lot of info on www.LDS.ord under 'home and family' for bird flu/ pandemic preparation also. They have a doctor appointed to oversee the church's preparations for that possibility.
 

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callie i think you may have mistyped the link as it won't open i think it you may have wanted to type www.LDS.org
 

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I mentioned this on HT before, a few weeks ago, I think, but on another forum one of the posters reported that when he was in a gun shop one day, he overheard the owner of the shop bragging to a few buddies that he knew where every Mormon family in the area lived, and when times got hard, he knew where to go, armed, to take food. He had a stack of ward lists on his desk that the poster saw, lists of names and addresses (information that I'm sure was supposed to be confidential -- who knows how this bozo got it). So if you are Mormon, be careful, watchful, and armed. And if you have Mormon friends, warn them, please. Who knows how many people out there besides this one gun shop owner have targeted the Mormon families in their area, expecting to find easy marks? I'm not a Mormon, but I don't like to see anyone preyed on like this, so wanted to repeat the warning.

Kathleen
 

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Dallas
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Having been Emergency Preparedness specialist in 2 different Wards (Congregations) in the last 10 years, I can tell you that if 20 percent of the LDS families in the ward have more than 1 months food storage I would be suprised. The Church has been pushing self sufficenty for a century, but how members actually respond to teachings and how they should respond are 2 different things.
Also many older members store wheat, but know absolutly nothing about using it. My biggest push when I did this was to try to drive into their heads to "store what they eat and eat what they store". The Church has been pushing this recently also.
 

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I mentioned this on HT before, a few weeks ago, I think, but on another forum one of the posters reported that when he was in a gun shop one day, he overheard the owner of the shop bragging to a few buddies that he knew where every Mormon family in the area lived, and when times got hard, he knew where to go, armed, to take food. He had a stack of ward lists on his desk that the poster saw, lists of names and addresses (information that I'm sure was supposed to be confidential -- who knows how this bozo got it). So if you are Mormon, be careful, watchful, and armed. And if you have Mormon friends, warn them, please. Who knows how many people out there besides this one gun shop owner have targeted the Mormon families in their area, expecting to find easy marks? I'm not a Mormon, but I don't like to see anyone preyed on like this, so wanted to repeat the warning.

Kathleen
You would be amazed at how often we hear this. I think they will be very disappointed in many fronts. Mormons are one of the most well-armed groups as individuals out there. We have been told that the time is coming that if we will not take up arms against our neighbors we will flee to places where we can live together in peace. Thanks for the warning though. We are well aware of what is said.
 
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