For decades, the LDS Church has been stockpiling food in storage facilities and requires that members do the same, but how much does the church actually have?
The LDS Church stores enough food in each of its 100 food storage facilities to supply a small community for up to a year. In addition, many of the LDS Church’s 16 and a half million members also store enough food storage in their homes to last their household roughly 3 months.
Food storage is becoming a very common practice in today’s world. At the end of the day, disasters can happen when we least expect them and it’s best to be prepared when they do, which is why the LDS Church prioritizes food storage as a fundamental value within their ideology. The church carries out this ideology by setting up fully stocked food storage facilities around the United States and Canada, which have been established for emergency situations for its members. The LDS Church always selects food items that are suitable for longevity, survival, and for meeting essential needs. Let’s take a closer look at how much food storage the LDS Church has.
After having closely worked with the LDS Church in the design and planning of their food storage facilities, we have determined that having a stockpile of food that can support a community for up to a year is essential for remedying a disaster situation.
LDS Church Food Storage
Having an ample supply of food storage can make all the difference between life and death in many situations. This makes food storage not just a precautionary luxury but a necessity for the LDS Church. The church has been practicing food storage for years and continues to do it now more than ever, which is why they have developed so many storage facilities around the nation.
These facilities were designed to store food to support the Mormon community and all of those who are in need when a disaster should occur. An LDS food storage facility is stockpiled with food items that are essential for survival and are ready to go with supplies that can support a community for as long as a year. We can never predict the next disaster, but what we can do is be ready for it.
With that being said, the LDS Church doesn’t just store food within these facilities, they also strongly advise that their members have food storage in every household by having an official mandate in place. Given that the church officially declares food storage as being essential for each home, you can expect the majority of its 16 and a half million members to be stocked with food for at least 3 months - if not more!
You should know that the LDS Church uses very specific types of food items for its food storage. The reason for this is that food items that are selected for storage should be strategically planned and should always be the most essential and important things that you need for survival in an emergency situation. To understand just how much food storage the LDS Church actually has, we are going to explore what is inside the food storage of their facilities and the homes of their members.
LDS Church Food Storage Facilities
The LDS Church has always valued preparedness and what better way to be prepared than to stockpile food and emergency supplies for when disaster strikes. Having food storage is such an ingrained value of Mormonism that the church has actually established and supplied massive facilities across the entire continent of North America.
We have all seen the pattern of behavior during a disaster situation - people will panic and flood grocery outlets to buy up anything they can get their hands on, which leads to high increased demands for supplies with many essential items simply being unavailable. This is not a position the LDS Church or its members want to be in. The 100 fully stocked storage facilities that the LDS Church manages are a safety net and assurance that when these situations occur, they are secure.
A storage facility managed by the LDS Church is roughly the size of an average warehouse and has thousands of pounds of food ready to go at all times. Just one of these storage facilities is capable of feeding a community of roughly 2,500 people for up to a year. And with 100 of these facilities being stocked, the LDS Church has enough food storage to supply more than 250,000 people for a year. That is a lot of food!
These facilities are also utilized as grocery outlets for members of the LDS Church. While it is great to have food storage fully stocked, you also don’t want to waste food by having it go past its expiration date. The LDS Church has developed a system to prevent this by selling off older food from their storage and replacing it with new stocks. This way their storage facilities are always stocked and nothing is being wasted at the same time. Let’s take a look at what kind of food items the LDS Church commonly stores in their facilities.
When it comes to storage items for an emergency, you always want to prioritize the essentials first, and there is no food item more important for your food storage than grains. By having a stockpile of grains, the LDS Church is prepared to give people the calories and nutrients that they need most for survival.
The church always keeps enough grains to feed 2,500 people for a year and with the average adult needing 400 lbs of grains per year, you can expect a typical LDS Church food storage facility to have just under 1 million pounds of grains. However, keep in mind that there are 100 food storage facilities in North American, which makes the total amount of grains that the church actually has to be 100 million lbs.
Each storage facility may vary in the types of grains that they carry, as the church acquires their stocks through means that are practical and affordable. Some of the most common grain items you can expect to see across the board would be:
These are some of the most basic grain food items that the church has stocked in its facilities.
When it comes to essential food items, legumes are a must for the LDS Church. When you are in an emergency situation getting some vital nutrients can be challenging - especially protein. Most animal-based protein products such as fresh or frozen meats are not always the most practical for food storage, which is why a plant-based solution like legumes is the way to go.
Legumes are very easy to store and will last for years, so long as there is no contamination. This makes them perfect for long-term food storage facilities run by the church. Legumes come in a variety and the LDS Church will carry various types of legumes in their facilities such as:
- Kidney Beans
- Black Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
You can expect the average LDS Church food storage facility to have over 150,000 lbs of legumes in just a single facility. The total amount of legumes that the church has with all its facilities would be roughly 15 million pounds.
Having dairy in food storage can be tricky, which is why the LDS Church never keeps any kind of fresh dairy products in their storage facilities. Fresh dairy products that are labeled as ‘Long Life’ will still be much more likely to go off than dried dairy products.
The church keeps an assortment of different types of dried dairy products in their storage facility, but the one that they prioritize most for emergency situations is powdered milk.
You can expect to find right around 18,000 pounds of dried milk at an LDS Church food storage facility. The total amount that the church has is 180,000 pounds across all of North America.
Other Food Items
There are plenty of other essential food storage items that the church keeps fully stocked that are necessary for cooking and survival. Here are some of those items with their amount.
- Fats - Fats are an important part of any diet and the church keeps plenty stocked in their food storage facilities. The average facility will have right around 75,000 lbs of fats in its supply. While their total national stock will have up to 7.5 million lbs in stock.
- Sugars - while sugar is not always essential for survival it can be a vital source of calories when needed, which is why the church has roughly 150,000 lbs of sugar in a single storage facility. The total that the LDS Church has is 15 million lbs. This supply can either be raw sugar or honey.
- Salt - the church will have at least 15,000 lbs of salts stocked at one of their storage facilities. Their full total is 1.5 million lbs of salts.
While the LDS Church has standardized criteria for essential food items that are kept in full stock for emergencies, they also keep other products in their facilities that are outside of just what is essential. Calculating this is not always possible, given that most of these non-essential products are purchased by LDS Church members.
LDS Church Members
As we already mentioned, the LDS Church requires that its members have at least a 3 month supply of food storage in their household at all times. Most members have families of at least 4 people, which means that you can expect there to be hundreds of pounds of food stored in each household.
While the LDS Church has set up 100 hundred food storage facilities around North America, they also expect their members to take part in this strategic preparation by having a substantial amount of food storage at home.
You can expect members from the church to have a fluctuating amount of food stored at their homes with most having a 3 month supply but some having a year’s worth - or even more. With over 16 million members in the LDS Church, the total amount of food the church has is enormous. Let’s break down the total amount of food that members have by looking at an average private household.
- Grains - 300lbs
- Legumes - 50 lbs
- Dairy - 20 to 25 lbs
- Sugars - 50 lbs
- Powdered Essentials ( baking soda, yeast, etc.) - 5 lbs
- Salts - 5 lbs
- Fats - 25 lbs
The rough estimate of the total food storage that all members of the church have combined would be the above figure multiplied by 4 million. However, this number could potentially be quite higher, as many LDS Church members stock more than 3 months worth of food in their food storage.
If you consider this sum in combination with the LDS Church’s food storage facilities, the organization has millions of pounds of food stocked at all times.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker