Most preppers don’t realize it, but the Mormons, otherwise known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are big on prepping. They don’t call it that and they’re definitely not the Doomsday Prepper sort, but strongly believe in emergency preparedness. For them, it’s about being responsible and taking care of your family. The church teaches that if one of their members loses their job, gets injured, has an illness or is hit by a natural disaster, they should be ready.
Apparently to the Mormons, this is just common sense. On their Provident Living website they talk about first building a short-term food supply to last 3 months, then expanding out to a long-term supply of one year. In addition, they talk about storing water and other necessities (like personal hygiene).
Of course, we include all that in prepping too; but I will have to admit that there is a tendency to talk more about the big disasters, the TEOTWAWKI events, than there is to talk about losing your job or getting snowed in during a winter blizzard. This tends to make Mormons and others see us as focused on the end of the world, which we’ve all forecasted to be scheduled for next Thursday.
The Mormon Church goes farther than just teaching about emergency preparedness, they put their money where their mouth is. As an organization, they operate 15 canneries, which produce what you and I would call packaged emergency food. They also operate a chain of Home Storage Centers, across the US and in Canada, where this food can be purchased for building a home stockpile. You can find a complete list of these centers here.
If you want to find one of their centers easier, you can use their handy map to search out the nearest location, powered by Google Maps and located at the bottom of this page.
Another option is to order their products online, information for which can be found on the same page as the map. Costs are slightly higher for items purchased online, to cover the shipping cost, and not all items are available for shipment. But for those of us who don’t live close to one of their Home Storage Centers, this is still a viable option.
So why should you and I care about this? Because we can shop there too. While these centers are owned and operated by the Mormon church, they are open to the public in general. Anyone who is interested in being prepared for an emergency is welcome to come and buy their pre-packaged foods.
Is It Worth It?
The Mormon Home Storage Centers currently stock about 25 different items. It is important to note that these are not pre-packaged meals or entrees, like you find with some of the companies who provide survival food. Rather, they are discreet food items, which you can use as needed.
Most of these food items are packed in number 10 cans, six to a case, but a few are packed in plastic pouches. Their website lists all of them as having 20 to 30 year shelf-lives. Most wet items, like beans, carrots and onions are dehydrated, then canned. Already dried items might be either canned or packed in plastic pouches.
Of course, buying any foods which are packaged for long-term storage is going to cost more than buying the same food items in Costco or Sam’s Club. But when you buy a 50 pound bag of beans or rice at one of those wholesale outlets or even at your local grocery store, it’s not packaged to last 30 years. You’re going to have to go through the time, effort and cost of repackaging it yourself. So that’s not really a fair comparison.
Let’s do a quick comparison of a few simple items. Please note that these are the prices at the time of writing; they may change.
Just from these three examples, it is clear that the price for these food items from the Mormon Home Storage Center is less than half of what it is from one of the top survival food companies or from Sam’s Club. While I didn’t check each and every item that they are currently selling, it’s clear that they are considerably cheaper than our other alternatives.
These centers even have sales, which reduce the price of some items by about five percent. It seems that they always have four items on sale, and that those items stay on sale for two months. However, the sale price is only good in-store; it is not available for ordering online.
Related: 23 Things a Prepper Should Never Throw Away. Why?
The full list of items which are available at the time of this writing are:
- Apple slices
- Beans, black
- Beans, pinto
- Beans, refried
- Beans, white
- Berry drink mix *
- Dry onions
- Granola *
- Granulated sugar
- Hard red wheat
- Hard white wheat
- Honey *
- Hot cocoa mix *
- Nonfat dry milk
- Pancake mix *
- Peanut butter *
- Potato flakes
- Potato pearls *
- Quick oats
- Regular oats
- Spaghetti bites
- White flour
- White rice
While this list may not provide you with the survival diet that you want, it will provide you with enough to live on. You can always add additional items to your stockpile, purchased from other sources. Please note that the items above with an asterisk (*) beside them are not available online; these items are only available in the Home Storage Centers.
You can also buy packaging items online, including aluminized Mylar food storage pouches and oxygen absorbers. As with the food items above, these are considerably cheaper (less than half) than any other supplier that I can find. So if you are looking to store some of your own food items, you can save a considerable amount buying these supplies from the Mormon Home Storage Centers as well.
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I’m thankful for the location list; I plan to pay a visit to the one nearest me.
It never hurts to have a good store of food on hand. I especially like the #10 can storage.
I visit the local one here quite often; but, since they are manned by volunteers, it’s generally a good idea to call ahead for their hours, or in some cases to make an appointment.
I visit the local one near here quite often; but, since they are manned by volunteers, it’s generally a good idea to call ahead for their hours, or in some cases to make an appointment.
I have family near the store I’d be going to; they can look into it for me and let me know if it’d be worth the two hour drive to get there.
Years ago, pre-Y2K, I was allowed to go to a Dallas area Mormon Storehouse only with a member’s invitation. Then, they had EVERYTHING except the wet food in bulk, and you had to get your own cans, fill them, add oxygen absorbers, label them, have the lids canned on a professional canning machine, and put it on your cart. They would limit you as to volume (no panel truck loads) and you had to clean the whole place spic and span when done – you have no idea how bad dried milk gets over everything. Then you paid (by cash or check – don’t know if they accept CC even now) and left.
They also canned meats, wet vegetables, etc. in a huge commercial jar canner, but those were for church members only – not available to the public.
Then the FDA got involved with them – labeled “selling” to the public as a basically uninspected, uncertified food delivery warehouse and shut it all down – for years it was members only.
Glad to see there is now one within 100 miles of me – I’ll be visiting them soon. Highly recommended, fresh, even organic food in bulk. All dehydrated but it tastes great. The butter flavored potato pearls beat all others I’ve tried.
They do take CCs now. Some of their prices are not competitive. For example, honey is priced more reasonably through Costco. White rice is priced better through Costco. You’re certainly paying for convenience with some items. That being said, the quality is high, and it IS convenient to buy a case of #10 cans without any hassle. Though, I don’t think I’ll buy honey there again for the cost (it’s just as convenient as Costco). They still hve nights on which you may can your own goods, but they are scheduled on certain dates.
Their honey is most likely closer to a local than Costco, and definitely not as processed as the honey from Costco.
As a beekeeper, processing can take a few forms, most of which is not too bad. Local honey for the most part is no better than regional, except for use in relieving airborne allergies.
The biggest problem with store bought honey is that often it contains more than honey, like pesticide or herbicide residues, and corn syrup. Honey produced in China under questionable conditions and transshipped through another country can be marked “Product of Malaysia” so be sure to read the packaging closely.
Best to find a local source if you can; but, in large cities that could be harder to do.
Around here, many people are apiarists both to use and sell their extra honey.
Their mylar bags are good too. They have 7 mil bags. I’ve been using them for years and are strong. You will need an electric impulse sealer for those. They are thick and just your standard iron won’t seal them good sometimes.
The Bishops storehouse in our area was similar; but, didn’t need a church member along to visit; although you did need an appointment. They took credit & debit cards; but, something I always did was make a donation to their welfare fund. In most storehouses there is also a welfare area that looks like a grocery store, complete with shopping carts. When a church member is down on their luck, hey talk with the bishop or church elders and get permission to visit that store. It’s a classic welfare system where the members take care of their own, based on true need. Church members are supposed to fast and skip one meal per month, donating the cost / value of that meal to the church welfare fund. Since I am not a member; but, they allowed me and mine to visit and take advantage of their deals, we felt obligated to help them. In any case, I know that every dollar I donated to them went to help someone, vs. perhaps $0.20 of that dollar helping through the government welfare system
Our local storehouse had only a dry pack cannery.
Here it was FDA & USDA and our local dry pack storehouse is still operating; but, you pay a bit more for cans already packed.
Some of what we have are just plain grains, like wheat that stores for 25 years; but, you then need a way to grind into flour. I have several ways to grind; but, the best and easiest is the Blendtec Kitchen mill, manufactured by an LDS company. When I purchased mine, I also got a discount coupon from our local cannery.
As for the potato pearls, I had some of these delicious potatoes for lunch today. They however, are not a long term storage item, since they contain oils that can go rancid, so ours are double bagged in a zip top freezer bag and stored in one of our freezers, with the opn one stored in the refrigerator.
Next Thursday?… Crap I didn’t get that text.. I better start prepping now… LOL
Friendly people good prices and helpful. They have them all over.
Thanks for the favorable article about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Days Saints food storage centers. The reason the items are cheeper, is hat the church does not make any profit on the sales.
That and the fact that they have no real labor costs. I have friends (a married retired couple) who did a two year mission running a cannery and storehouse. The first 6 months were working with the current staff, learning to run the place, and then 18 months running it and training the next group.
Thank you so much. I can walk to the one closest to me. The prices are not bad when you consider what you are getting.
Thanks for this information!
Great article. Thank you for letting us know of another great resource for obtaining food storage. This church seems very well organized.
What a great, helpful article. Thanks, Rich M. for taking the time to write this article, especially after the undeserved beating up you got on your gun article. Appreciate the time and effort you take in writing these articles. I know that writing an informative, researched article takes considerable personal time. Your efforts are appreciated.
Bad articles and bad information won’t be praised.
Good info like will be taken just fine
I visited the center at Welfare Square in SLC when my husband and I visited. The members’ concern for their own families, their own poor and needy members and those not of their own faith was exemplary. A fabulous cheese factory with the best cheddar anywhere. We could all learn something from these good folks.
Get a freeze dryer and store your food for 30 plus years in Mylar bags or mason jars with oxygen absorbers. And you can use your own garden or organic or grass fed meat. You don’t know what these companies are selling you as it could be sprayed with all kinds of pesticides and other toxins.
We have done just that; but, the $2-3K for the freeze dryer may be beyond the means of some people; but, you can still dehydrate for a lot less cost and along with canning get started with even less outlay. In our case we do all of the above.
Also, AFAIK foods from the LDS cannery are not produced with heavy used of chemicals.
Oh yeah I got 7 grand for that sitting around and all the food grade compressor oil as well.
I have about $2500.00 in mine, purchased as an Analog Refurbished model. I filter the oil and reuse it; but, did buy an additional 2 gallons of oil in gallon containers. It’s mostly only a winter project here, since our summer kitchen can get really hot with it running on warmer days; but, OTOH, we use less propane heating that room in winter when it’s running.
ok so where do you find a Morman cannery on the east coast the ships
I don’t find a specific list of stores that ship, what I would do is contact the store nearest me and see if they ship and if they do not, ask them if they know of the nearest store that does ship and if they don’t, ask them who does know because somewhere in the hierarchy of the Church, someone has that information.
Sometimes once you are headed in the right direction, you have to take that first baby step.
If you’re looking to have things shipped, the location doesn’t matter. You can start @ https://store.lds.org/
You will find a lot of information there, including a lot of religious information, since it is a church website; but, if you look at the Categories on the top bar by the search box, you can select “Food Storage” and get started.
“they’re definitely not the Doomsday Prepper sort”. Thanks for letting me know, I always thought I WAS a “Doomsday Prepper” type. Get real, exactly what do you think Mormons are preparing for? A hurricane? What the heck do you think “Latter Day” means, Sunday? Why do people who know nothing about others, somehow think they can tell others what we think. I’ve been preparing most of my life and you can bet that I’m better prepared than most “Doomsday Preppers”, especially those that go around showing their food storage on YouTube or in “Doomsday Preppers” shows. Three people know about what I have, my son, daughter and her husband.
Carmen, you forgot to take your meds again. Take them and relax. You are incorrect. Far more people know about your preps than just the four that you mentioned. Everyone on this list knows that you have “stuff” put away for Doomsday. What we may not know is the exact block you live on in your home town. I won’t disclose the town so that those who don’t know will continue in the dark.
They are preparing for more than the EOTW. They are preparing for earthquakes, floods, fires, civil unrest, tornados and in Hawaii I am sure they are preparing for tsunamis. Mormons in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are preparing for huge earthquakes and follow-along tsunami.
While geologists talk frequently about the San Andreas Fault and the earthquake they expect from it, geologists who really know are aware that the Pacific Northwest had a much larger earthquake than any along the San Andreas. It created huge tsunami in Japan and along the Pacific Northwest Coast.
left coast chuck,
What too many people wither new to prepping or old timers who have lost their focus seem to forget or have forgotten is that EOTW-AWKI means “As We Know It”, and that individually could mean job loss, illness, or local disaster like earthquake, blizzard, hurricane, tornado, etc. Losing your income source without enough savings or too much debt can be personally world ending, and any and all preps, like food and not having to run for groceries can make a big difference in your personal ”Doomsday”.
Locally a few years ago, a friend had a house fire, and although he was fully insured and they are back in their home, it took more than a stressful 2 years of living in hotels and rental apartments until they were back home. At least for a while when watching their house go up in flames, he had that EOTW moment.
There are still some items, like the finger-paintings from his kids and videos of them growing up that are simply gone.
Ohio: While I was one of the lucky ones and my house didn’t burn, as we drove away from our home of 50 years with some clothes, some papers and other things that we could grab, I visualized the biggest part of our life together going up in smoke. All of the photographs of our life before we met, 60 years of marriage and two kids from toddlers through college graduation and marriage. All the meaningful stuff that we keep as mementos of our lives. After 60 years of marriage we easily have close to 50,000 pictures when we include photos passed down from our parents’ lives.
We were lucky, but 500+ other families in town were not so lucky. Unfortunately the city we live in did not emulate Santa Rosa, CA after the fire they had and Santa Rosa officials ease building restrictions and permit fees. This city increased permit fees and added burdensome restrictions on rebuilding the lost homes. They even wanted to charge the homeowners for water that ran down the street when the house burned down because the homeowner hadn’t turned the water off at the meter before fleeing the flames. That was as bad as Spectrum cable service demanding the return of the cable boxes burned up in the fire before they could cancel cable service. During and after the fire councilmen and the mayor were nowhere to be seen. We still haven’t found out why the emergency water system didn’t work and the fire hydrants were dry shortly after the fire department hooked up to them. When that happened the fire department fled the scene and just let the houses burn.
The guy next door to me right now is sort of lucky. His aunt was renting out the house and it had come empty because she was going to sell it, so she rented it to him. He is jumping through the hoops that the city is putting up for home rebuilders. Some people who were burnt out didn’t rebuild. They put the lot up for sale, took the insurance settlement and probably moved out of state. That was my plan too if the house burned.
Somehow some contractor got FEMA to endorse him as the only demolition contractor allowed to carry out demolition and removal of the charred remains. The guy next door told me he had a contractor lined up to do the demolition and cleanup for $26,000 but the FEMA contractor cost him $40,000. That is money that comes out of the insurance settlement and doesn’t go to rebuilding the new home.
Some of the insurance companies made their insureds list all the items they were claiming were damaged or destroyed in the fire under the content provisions of their homeowners insurance. They had to list the item, when purchased, how much it cost and what its present worth was. Farmers Insurance to their credit told all their insureds that they knew from past experience that the loss of contents exceeded the value of the contents coverage, so they would pay maximum and it wasn’t necessary to list every chair and blanket, sheets and pillow cases, spoons and dishes.
So I can well appreciate that the Thomas Fire was the end of the world as 500+ families in this town knew it. In reality, it probably was a lot more than 500 families. I think the total figure was 570 dwelling units. With the cost of housing in SoCal and in this burg in particular, many houses had more than one family living in the house. If I hadn’t moved here 50 years ago and if I didn’t have property tax protection due to a measure passed almost 30 years ago to prevent widows and elderly couples living on social security from losing their property to ever escalating property taxes, I wouldn’t be able to live here now.
So fifteen months after the smoke cleared, some houses have started to rebuild. Many others homeowners are struggling with bureaucratic red tape and obstructionism. The politicians are belly-aching about lost revenue when in actuality they are going to reap a windfall with building permit fees and inspection fees. You can bet the assessor will be out checking every new house to re-assess it at its current market value.
I can’t decide which is worse, a wildfire or a flood. I had my business flooded out three times and two different places where I worked were involved in fire. One burned to the ground and the other only had smoke and water damage as it was an adjoining furniture store that burned. Once you get smoke in your building, be it home or business, getting rid of the odor is a real significant problem and a big expense. It oftentimes involved tearing out wallboard and throwing out otherwise good furniture. You can clean it and treat it, but the faint odor of smoke still seems to be present every time you come into the building from outside. After you are in the building for a couple of minutes you don’t notice it but you sure do when you first come in.
The folks in the Midwest are experiencing an end of their world event as I write this with millions of farm animals lost. I am sure the effects of flood water with all the chemicals that are in it these days is a lot different from the Nile flooding the adjacent farmland and replenishing the soil in the BC period. The residue from the floods certainly must affect the fertility of the soil for some period afterwards.
We must have been cursed by the Chinese because we certainly are living in interesting times.
Hi again Chuck.
Thank you so much for your lengthy but illuminating presentation. How very often and very soon we forget about an event that has not touched us and yet is catastrophic for so many individuals’ personal lives and businesses.
It does seem we are at war with the bureaucrats and government entities that we are subject to. And all this time they and the average American make fun of “preppers.” I so enjoy reading all these comments. I expect that I shall never meet any of you in person and yet I should love to do so. The great Ressurection has just passed us so I would ask Our Lord to bless all of your efforts and all that you share. Peace brothers and sisters.
“We must have been cursed by the Chinese because we certainly are living in interesting times.”
Left Coast, your last comment in your post almost a year ago is chillingly even more accurate today.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone is the large fault line just offshore along the Pacific coast from Seattle to Northern California.
Will: I had forgotten the name of the fault when I posted. I just glanced through the article but was impressed with the damage that geologists say happened during the giant earthquake that took place about 300 years ago. I think the tsunami that earthquake created was the motivating factor in a monument stone placed some distance up the hillside behind a town in Japan that said something to the effect’ “Don’t build closer than this to the ocean,” Of course in the intervening hundreds of years folks did build closer to the ocean with the disastrous results that we saw in the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. My recollection is that the earthquake was sometime in the 18th century but that recollection could be wrong.
For some reason here in the PDRK we seem to be going through a quiet period for earthquakes which has the geologists scratching their collective heads and wondering what is up. They report earthquake activity is way down and has been for a while now.
You don’t have to buy a whole case of one thing at a time as they will sell their products by individual cans too.
Hi I live in Puerto RICO YOU SHIPPIN HERE
Find LDS Canneries via