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Charitable Survival Food Program

Program provides Survival Food, benefits charity
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I’ve read that it’s wise to have a six-month supply of food on hand in case of plague, war or other catastrophe. The problem with emergency food supplies is that they don’t have an indefinite shelf life – they must be either consumed or discarded periodically and replaced with fresh stock. However, most of the food I eat is fresh and consumed within a few days of purchase. I seldom eat canned or boxed foods and I hate the idea of throwing away food.

I propose a program where you buy a six month’s supply of basic foods with a long shelf-life, and then donate it to the local Food Bank or other charitable program every six months, and take a tax write-off for the donation.

In fact, this program could actually be run by a charitable group that would purchase the food in volume, assemble suitable family-size “pallets” of food and sell them for a small profit. Then, accept the return donation and distribute the food to the needy.

Each “pallet” should contain enough dry and canned goods suitable for feeding two people for six months -- two pallets for a family of four, etc.

All items would need a shelf life substantially over six months and require minimal preparation – you never know if you would have power or water available for cooking.

Items for the emergency food supply would be selected by a dietician to provide a balanced diet – and be suitable for use by a Food Bank or needy families.

Everything would be assembled on a pallet or container designed for easy storage and transport. Assembly could actually be handled by needy or handicapped people hired by the charity.

Every six months, the charity could deliver a new pallet of food and remove the old one. The Purchaser would only need to pay for the food and provide space for storage.

The Purchaser could buy the individual pallets upon delivery, or pay a once-a-year fee as part of an on-going program.

While this could be done on a local level, I see this also being a national or world-wide program with support from large corporations and charitable organizations. It would encourage donations, provide family security and provide a nice tax write-off for the giver.

While I selected six months as a "cycle," it could be a year or more, depending on the reasonable shelf-life of the food. I also assume the "balanced diet" in question would be very basic and designed to support life during an emergency.

The foods in the pallet would be basic and in-expensive -- I could imagine a pallet for two people costing $500-$1,000. If you bought two a year, that would yield a donation of $1-$2k per year.

While I love this idea, I don’t want to do the work involved in setting up such a program – so feel free to pass it on….. And I will take the first pallet!

jdlaugh, Dec 02 2007

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       Excellent. Additionally, the large volume of food is available in the event of emergency either domestically or internationally. The problem is going to be getting buy-in (no pun intended) from a large enough group of people to keep turnover high.
phoenix, Dec 02 2007
  

       How many 'bakers keep a stockpile of food against the possibility of plague, war or other catastrophe?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 02 2007
  

       Even with only 10% participation--hunger would no longer be a problem for the bottom 10% of society as long as they had can-openers.
Monty6, Dec 03 2007
  

       In retrospect, perhaps a smaller supply and longer cycle might be more cost-effective with greater buy-in. Three months of food kept for a year before donation would not be unreasonable.   

       My greatest concern is a pandemic that would interrupt the supply chain in the US. I first thought of this idea when the Bird Flu was being discussed. The current US supply system -- the system that keeps the store shelves full -- is based on "on time" delivery. That system would break down rather quickly if transportation or delivery systems were interrupted -- by either illness or fear. Hard to know for sure how long something like that would last.   

       I don't think an individual could adequately plan for a major meteor strike, nuclear war or other long-term catastrophe -- unless they move to Montana and live in a bunker. I'm not that paranoid. :)
jdlaugh, Dec 04 2007
  

       Fantastic. You synergistically killed two birds with one stone: poverty and emergency food supply.
kevinthenerd, Dec 04 2007
  

       // How many 'bakers keep a stockpile of food against the possibility of plague, war or other catastrophe ? //   

       This one does.   

       // I'm not that paranoid. //   

       What are you doing on HB then ? Are you spying on us ? Show us you ID .... Who sent you ? Who are you working for ?   

       Has it occured to you how bad it might be if you aren't paranoid, but people really are out to get you ? Maybe you should be paranoid, just in case ....
8th of 7, Dec 04 2007
  

       Very nice idea. 3 month supply exchanged once a year, as you suggest, would reduce costs both for product and handling. Donation end could be tricky as you don't want to put farmers in recipient countries out of work, but that would only become an issue if the program was so successful that supply exceeded what was needed for emergency aid. You also don't want anyone so dependent on this aid that they starve when donors have to eat their food rather than donating it, due to an emergency in donor country.
Ford, Dec 06 2007
  
      
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