Helping The Hungry Folks : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Big Dog mentioned something in a post below that got me to thinking. What are we planning to do for those who didn't prepare, if the food situation becomes desperate? My wife and I have tried to think this one through, because we *do* have a moral and ethical responsibility to help, even if someone who ridiculed us shows up begging. One possibility is to have some extra sacks of beans and rice to portion out in baggies. Personally, I am working hard to get our local church to stock up their pantry for just such an event. They have propane cooking facilities in the kitchen and even minimal generator power will be available to run the well water pump and a few lights. The church is only 2 miles down the road, so people can be directed to that "soup and sandwich" kitchen, if need be. Of course we will be helping stock that pantry. How many others on this forum have been thinking about this, and what do you plan to do if this situation becomes a reality?

-- Gordon (, June 03, 1999


Tough question. It presents a real moral dilemna. I've been trying to store extra for the neighbors but how much extra is enough? I can't feed the whole neighborhood! How would I feel if I gave away food and later my family suffers because we run out? I haven't discussed it with my neighbors because I'm tired of getting laughed at. Hell, even my family thinks I'm a little wacky. The whole thing bites! I guess I'll just wait to see what comes my way. You can only prepare so much for what life throws at you. I don't want to bring religion into it but I'm going to prepare as much as I can and will have to have faith that the rest will work out. I'll be dead in fifty years and won't give a damn anyway.

-- (, June 03, 1999.


I'm with you. I have a moral responsibility to help those in need. My solution has been like yours, to stock up on extra beans and rice, along with some water. I've also gone ahead and canned quite a few quarts of pintos-that way they're cooked and don't need the pre-soaking water. I've also been canning chicken and beef stock to be used for "water" to cook with.

But at the risk of being ridiculed by some here, I have come to the point where I tell myself "I can only prepare so much and for so many contingencies-the rest is up to God." And lest that sound like a cop out answer-my family has been in numerous situations where our collective backs were up-against-the-wall and time after time, God has provided for us.

So, I am planning on helping those who come to my door-be they friend or foe. We will have no weapons (perhaps I will be written off as crazy over this subject, as well?) other than prayer and integrity. I'm having to exercise faith that God, who is in control, will protect us. While I may lose my earthly possessions or my life here due to my refusal to arm myself, I will not lose my place in heaven. (That is God's ultimate promise of protection.)

Meanwhile, I "show my faith by my works" and run my pressure canner for all I'm worth, garden 'til my back aches and spend every cent I can on preps to store.


PS Do you remember the story in I Kings 17:9-16? Elijah 'mooched' off of a widow woman who had only enough oil and flour for a scant meal for herself and her son. God enabled the three of them to live off that small amount of food for "many days." Perhaps we will see this scenario revisited?

-- newbiebutnodummy (, June 03, 1999.

Ideally, you want a mutually beneficial situation. Think barter. A gallon of water for a bushel of corn, or vice versa. Some may not have goods to trade, but may possess a useful skill to trade for a pound of beans. If you can trade the makings of a meal to a father of four in exchange for some significant repair job, you'll all feel a lot better.

-- Vic (, June 03, 1999.

I've been purchasing extra food since May 1998. Every time I go "shopping" I buy some for us (my family) and some for them (others who need it). I have water barrels (for us) and 2 liter bottles (for them). Even when I "get the heck out of Dodge" I plan to have extra. I've given this topic lots of thought and came the to conclusion I have to be ready to give some of what I have away. I'm moving "west" so the lines won't be so long (LOL if y'all still can laugh). Good luck all!

-- Gail (, June 03, 1999.

Got two young children. Most of our preparatory status is due to (1) basic survival instinct and (2) fulfillment of our responsibility to parent and protect our young. We made the decision to participate in the procreative process and are living up to our responsibilities. I think all other parents must do the same or face the consequences. I'm sorry that people may starve, children may starve. It's one of the risks of the Great Unknown. I'm trying to minimize the risks for my family the best I can. I will not help those who have had the time to prepare and would not do so. People who don't have to work for it, won't. And they'll expect you to keep doing the work and keep on giving. If it gets this bad, it will become survival of the fittest. That is my basic attitude but I may choose to change it as I see fit. I have that choice because I have done the work. No work/prep=ALOT fewer choices if any. Bitter truths we all have to face.

-- Barb (, June 03, 1999.

I agree with Barb... don't feed the trolls (literally).

-- curtis schalek (, June 03, 1999.

We buy bulk for ourselves and package in used mason jars. In addition, we have a couple hundred pounds of beans, pasta, rice, flour, all in original containers (1#, 2#, 5#) currently wrapped in garbage bags with dessicant, in rodent-proof containers. Also have little cans of tomato paste, and spaghetti sauce mix. That way we can give it away without advertising that we've been buying in bulk -- it just looks like we had a little extra.

If you have the sense to prepare for yourself, have the decency to do a little extra, and be part of a virtual food bank. You don't *want* to support fools, you don't want desperate and hungry neighbors, and you don't really want to be known for giving food away! We don't know how it will all play out, but this gives us some options.

Hedge your bets, spread your assets, make fallback plans.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), June 03, 1999.

Part of my preps has been storing gas for the grill. The other day i was cooking hamburgers and my neighbors were out, I have an acre with small lots around me. Two sets of neighbors started talking about how good it smelled. Yelling at me that they wanted some, just joking with me. This got us to thinking what are we going to do next year when I'm outside cooking our modest preps and the neighbors start yelling they want some but this time they won't be joking! We had decided last week to stay as long as we could here and then go to our cabin but now were not so sure.

Sunday at church we sang a song " This do in rememberance of me" I wish I could remember the second verse it was something about helping strangers and feeding the hungry and to do this in rememberance of me.

I wish somebody had a answer on this one.

-- Johnny (JLJTM@BELLSOUTH.NET), June 03, 1999.

Just one question while pondering this thread, how many of you out there on the forum have participated in helping others in this country or elsewhere who are without food NOW?

-- Barb (, June 03, 1999.

I'm figuring between 10%-20% of our preps are for other people. That's the most I can afford to give away. Anyone who comes trying to demand or take more than I'm willing to give will recieve a very quick lesson in the interpersonal dynamics of force. My motto is: Help if you can, but protect what you must.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), June 03, 1999.


Regarding your question just above, we have given to charity for years and though I don't know for sure if some of that went to food, I hope it did. The used clothes sure helped some, I bet. In our local church we put together food baskets from time to time for needy families, and I contribute to that. But that's about the extent of it.

Regarding guns, I do think some hunting will be called for, and the bible does support that use of arms for sure. Also for self defense. However, it is common knowledge that Mother Teresa lived without weapons her entire life and never seemed to be in harms way.

To all the rest, I find the many answers rewarding and optimistic for the most part. There are some ideas that I hadn't thought about. I am going to print out this page when it is done and use it for both our own family (ideas) and to show to some others. I am humbled by it.

-- Gordon (, June 03, 1999.

Gordon, glad to hear it. So have we. We are fortunate to have been able to make that choice to do that with our extras, I guess I should have also asked, have any out there gone WITHOUT to provide for others who did not think ahead? Perhaps that is the "meat" or beans of it after all?

-- Barb (, June 03, 1999.

Helping The Hungry Folks... your neighbors.

Be prepared to save extra, then offer it, when asked.

The neighbors here, pretty much keep to themselves, except last weekend when dozens were invited to a pot-luck get together to welcome several new ones to the area. This has occured about 4 times in the past 36-years.

It was good to see old faces. Aging parents of kids I went to school with. And the new crop of grandchildren. They are all "nice" people, who I suspect, when push-came-to-shove, would band together and help one another.

Until I met them all again, I have wondered. Now that I have, couldn't possibly turn them away. (The idea of creating a round- robin, or block-party dining "hall" in someone's garage or living room might work).

I suggest, that everyone make a special effort this summer to "get to know your neighbors."

You might be pleasantly surprised.


-- Diane J. Squire (, June 03, 1999.

The topic of reading Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" set me to thinking about some of the stories that I heard from family about what it was like in CA during those days. One thing I remember is that my great aunt used to give food to an occasional hobo or 'forgoten man', and they put a symbol of some sort at her house as a cue to those that came after.

-- flora (***@__._), June 03, 1999.

OT: By the way, don't equate gun-ownership with a bunker mentality.

We're likely to have serious sanitation problems next year, no garbage pickup, etc. We can poison rats and mice, but you need to plan for poison NOW.

Also, if people can't feed their pets, they'll turn them out rather than kill them. Feral cats MIGHT be a problem, but feral dogs can quickly become killers. I've seen them run wild through cattle herds, and have hunted them. They're very fast, very smart, they know when you're armed. I don't even want to think about what a pack could do in a city!

A .22 rifle might be a valuable tool, next year. Forget the bunker.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), June 03, 1999.

A 90lb. non rapid St. Bernard could feed alot of neighbors!!

-- Country boy (I ate dog in, June 03, 1999.

I frankly don't know what we'll do next year except for wing it depending on circumstances, the people involved and ???

Our primary means for helping people long-term are the incredible quantities of seed we purchased as well as a 40 X 20 foot greenhouse. With help from nearby farmers, we could feed nearly 500 late in 2000 (at least veggies) and save seed too. Plus we can go nuts breeding chickens, goats, geese and turkeys tho this will take some time.

I expect to say "yes" to people I wouldn't have thought to and "no" to people that will be stunned to hear it from me.

Got prayer for discernment and a listening ear?

-- BigDog (, June 03, 1999.


With all due respect to Mother Teresa and her many years of selfless dedication to helping humanity,...I would be willing to bet she was well protected by those around her, and therefore would not have needed to carry her own weapons... much like a parent protecting his/her children (or the food for one's family) if the need arises...

-- Texas Terri (, June 03, 1999.

I'm with BigDog. We have larger-than-necessary flocks of chickens and geese and one more milking goat than we really need (as if milk will be in short supply here in southwest WI, LOL). Plus lots of extra seeds for springtime. We've got some extra packaged food for our neighbors if needed but hopefully folks can make it through the winter and then we'll eat what we can grow. Fancy that!

-- David Palm (, June 03, 1999.

Flora, the sign a hobo left near the home of a kind person was a drawing of a cat. My grandmother fed every man who ever came to her house and never regretted it.

-- Helen (, June 03, 1999.

Flora and Helen: I also heard it was a drawing of a cat...but a "smiling" cat! All my relatives lived on farms during the depression and at least they had enough to mom and her sister (only l year apart) only had one pair of shoes between them in the summer, which meant that only one of them could go to town when grandad went in to sell cream and eggs. Every fall everyone got a new pair of shoes though. Very tough times which I hope we don't have to repeat. (I call my mom "Imelda" now because of her shoe collection!!!)

-- jeanne (, June 03, 1999.

Helen & Jeanne,

Thanks so much. My Aunt Irene was a wonderful woman that lived in the Wilshire district, near the farmer's market in LA. I hope I'll have half the character & wisdom that she did.

I've always wondered what the symbol was, you've filled in a puzzle piece for me.

-- flora (***@__._), June 03, 1999.

At the risk of going off topic here, for you movie buffs "My Man Godfrey" [1936] with William Powell & Carol Lombard is an entertaining and thought provoking film that deals with the 'forgotten man' and 'high'society life.

-- flora (***@__._), June 03, 1999.

Big Dog - precisely, and the bottom line realization that God gave us persons for whom we are directly responsible to Him. A lot of prayer required here, as well as the ability to enforce 'no' when that is appropriate.

Country Boy - LOL! yeah, been there done that - Kegogi isn't that bad if you're cold hand hungry. On the other hand St. B's also make good watchdogs...VERY it's hard to say...



-- Arlin H. Adams (, June 04, 1999.

Gee Barb half my F**cking salary goes to helping others. Isn't that enough?

-- kozak (kozak@formerusaf.guv), June 04, 1999.

Kozak, Good point. So does ours! And I,for one do not plan on supporting a welfare state or mentality should TSHTF. I don't now.

-- Barb (, June 04, 1999.

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