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Hungry Mouths Consume A LOT!

hungry-mouthsI was helping my mother-in-law the other day bring up some canned food from her food storage so she could make spaghetti for various friends that needed a bit of help. Cooking meals for other people is, in fact, something my in-laws do quite a bit in part because they enjoy doing so as well as being one of their ways of doing charitable work.

Anyway, by then time I was done I had brought up a dozen 28-ounce cans of spaghetti sauce. This was almost an entire row of cans from her Harvest food storage racks! And the sad part is that it was for a single meal. Granted, there were at least a handful of families that benefited but I couldn’t help but ponder “what if we had to feed these people three meals a day, every day?” Obviously, our food storage wouldn’t last long at all.

For those that have seen the recent Hobbit movie I found myself cringing when the Dwarves showed up to the Hobbit’s house unexpectedly and ate him out of house-and-home the whole time thinking “yup, that’s exactly what happens!”

While I’m not worried about feeding people I don’t even know, close family and friends would be people that are very likely to show up TEOTWAWKI+1 with their hands out and mouths open. And, while I’ve written about this topic in the past it’s always been from a standpoint of a moral obligation to do so, not purely from a logistical “can I do it?” standpoint.

You see, the “can I do it” standpoint has little to do with whether I should be helping people that otherwise could do so but choose not to; Rather, it’s simply asking whether I, according to my expectations of the disaster, can feed people who need help… in this case, most likely family and friends?

I would say that in all but the most devastating of scenarios I could do so. Should I? Well, I’ve often heard people comment on forums and other blogs that they would have no problem shutting the door on anyone that didn’t show up with a U-Haul of food and equipment. To me, that’s just not being either realistic or a good human being.

After all, I would think I would have a hard time willfully surviving if all of my family and friends had perished. Maybe a honest-to-goodness civilization-altering scenario would change my mind, I don’t know.

Back to the point of the post, I was shocked at how much food had disappeared from my mother-in-laws food storage for one simple meal. If this was food saved for just my family, for example, we could have had enough for several dinners (maybe a week’s worth) rather than just one meal. Multiply this scenario out over a few weeks and what you thought was enough to last your family for months was quickly depleted.

So, we’re back to square one: do I or don’t I share my preps? Honestly, I flip-flop almost every time I think about the topic. It’s a tough call either way. I truly hope you make the right one.

Damian Brindle

Blogger at reThinkSurvival
Blogging about all things survival and emergency preparedness, including experiences with DIY projects and ideas, gear reviews, living frugally, cooking in unconventional ways, and more! All while linking to the best videos and articles each day to help YOU get better prepared.

Take a moment and click here to read why you should stick around as well as what to expect in the future. Learn from my experiences, share your own in the comments below, and otherwise have a good time here. :)

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8 comments to Hungry Mouths Consume A LOT!

  • Anne Ollamha

    My position is to not advertise what I have, so that I can pick and choose who I help and how. I have a priority list and how I operate on those priorities will depend on the scenario. Earthquake? The circle of people I would help will be wider than if the economy went south with no chance of quick recovery. When I help people who are experiencing hard times, I do so anonymously, both to spare their feelings and to maintain opsec. Like JAS points out, you have to put your family responsibilities first.

  • Dawn

    I’d like to think (now) that I could help my neighbors but in a disaster or social upheaval I wonder. I can only purchase so much prep items each month due to budget so my focus is on my family of 4 with the hopes of also eventually covering my extended family of 5 more (because they don’t prep/store). So I have to say that my family is my priority and then we’ll see………..

  • Andrea

    I remember reading a book by Corrie Tenbaum about the holacaust, she was in the Netherlands, and she fed people by always making soup and just adding water to the soup when more people showed up. So having access to water would help. Plus maybe the guests would have just a little bit to add to the soup.

  • I have a large family & whether they have prepared or not I know we will all need each other to get through what’s coming. After I have done all I can my faith will kick in and I’ll expect the miracle of oil & of loaves & fishes. If we are in covenant with YHVH (God) then He will hold up His end of the covenant to provide & protect us.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    It depends on if you are dealing with a SHTF situaion or a very temporary shortage like from a storm or strike. If it is the latter then share! If it is a SHTF situation then you cannot share. Human nature is not always or usually nice. If there will be no more food for months or longer and you give some stranger food at your door what do you think he will do when he is hungry again? And if you turn him down, which eventually you must what will he do then? And when he comes back to take your food he won’t come alone. In fact simply by feeding him once guarantees the nect time he shows up he will have his friends and family with him. There isn’t any middle ground. Either you strongly dissuade them the first time or you put everything you own at risk. Either you open your house to all comers or you close it to everyone. There is no middle ground. Those who don’t realize this will learn a cruel lesson the hard way.

  • JAS

    At some point you have to be a realist. Am I going to starve my family to feed others? The simple answer is no. This is the same reason I use for not discussing how much I have put away. I don’t want people showing up at my door looking for a free meal. Most of the people I know are living far above their means, buying everything they want for today and ignoring the warning signs that trouble is coming. If you try to talk to them about what you see coming, they blow you off as a quack. Again, I will not starve my family to feed a single person when they had just as much of a chance or in some cases more of a chance to put a few supplies aside for a bad day.

  • The Good Book says those that work, eat. That’s my philosophy and, around here, folks know I’ll feed them but won’t turn down offers to help with those chores I find too large or beyond my kin.

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