Thursday, 2 August 2018

Matthew 6:25 vs. Matthew 25:4?

Liz and I spent some time discussing stockpiling food, in the event of food shortages next Spring if there is a no-deal Brexit. My mother always had half a dozen packets of tea, and a couple of bags of sugar, in the corner of a cupboard in her bedroom. I think it must have been a hangover from the War Years and Rationing. Plus the fact that if there was any kind of Local/National Emergency, then it was important that the Church started serving reviving cups of tea to the community [And the Minister's Wife should therefore ensure that there was tea to hand!]
The Mormon Church encourage their families to always have a food stockpile just in case of such a crisis [they even suggest this three month list for ONE person!] I am not altogether sure about this list. We have had the same small bottle of pancake syrup in the cupboard since Shrove Tuesday - I cannot see that in 12 weeks Bob and I will get through 64 fl oz of the stuff, national emergency or not! Neither would we want any tinned yams, containers of cake frosting, or a dozen packages of microwave popcorn. So Liz and I drew up a list of items it might be an idea to set aside
drinks - teabags, coffee, instant drinking chocolate,longlife/dried milk 
dry goods/carbohydrates - pasta, rice, flour, porridge oats, biscuits 
proteins - canned beans, canned fish, canned meat, packet lentils 
veg&fruit - in cans  
bottles of oil or cans of ghee
We reckoned that if things were Really Bad, then there may be power cuts, so frozen food was not an option. Just cans, bottles and packets - with a long best before date. Also perhaps some loo rolls, soap and toothpaste.
Liz said that when we had the Beast From The East earlier in the year, her local Morrisons food supply chain broke down and for a few days they had no bread on the shelves [and that's in central London] She kindly pointed out "Mother, you are old enough to remember the powercuts and food shortages in the 1970s. How was it then?"
Well, yes, the Government did prepare petrol coupon books [but rationing was never implemented] and there was panic buying of sugar, leading to shortages in some areas. Following a very bad potato harvest, many older people realised for the first time that pasta or rice could be served as an alternative to potatoes...but we survived.
I understand Liz's concern - now she is a Mum, she will do all she can to prevent her child going hungry. But I have a mental conflict - should I follow the example of the 'wise virgins' in Matthew 25, who made sure they had oil ready - or take the advice of Matthew 6, and take no thought about what I should eat tomorrow, trusting the Lord to provide? Yes I know he will - in 60+ years, he has never let me down - but he also gives us what my Mum used to call "Sanctified Common Sense". Maybe a small box of basic groceries in the back bedroom is a prudent measure.
"I hope I am proved wrong" declared Liz "And that we get through Brexit next Spring without needing to use the Emergency Foodbox. And when that's happened, I shall take it down to the Foodbank, because if I have been rich enough to fill that box, then I can certainly afford to give it away if my family do not need it after all" And I say "Amen to that!"
However, I am sad that quite apart from the Brexit issues next Spring, the foodbanks are needed more than ever right now
It doesn't take much, when you've just paid for a trolleyful of food, as you push it out of the supermarket, to donate a can or two, does it?


  1. Hi Angela,

    I am afraid I am a hangover from the old days primarily due to family practices and living in tiny villages with no shops, so "stockpiling" is second nature to me. I stock up when I have the funds and then work through it. However, every month when I go to my local shop I add a bagful of bits to the store's food donation box. Basics like pasta and rice, tinned tomatoes, beans that sort of thing. We also have a lot of homeless on the street again in Peterborough and I am not averse to buying them a drink and some food but do not give cash. I can understand Liz's concern as I had those same concerns when my step-children moved in. I think you have to do the best you can with what you have at the end of the day. However what concerns me more than anything is all the waste that there is of good food just because of lack of harvesters and lack of funds to get it to where it is needed. Growing food and then wasting it is immoral. Opening it up to those that need it would be practical and the right thing to do. Foodbanks are being needed more and more and often through no fault of the person who needs the assistance. None of us are bullet proof and it could happen to us. Therefore securing your own position even short term is a constructive thing and then donating it if there is no need is brilliant. In the interim I shall carry on adding on a few things on the monthly shop to help our local Foodbank. Interesting post as usual Angela. Take care Pattypan x

  2. having had to use a foodbank at xmas due to the great DWP fiasco of 2017 , we managed 6 months last year with no income , living of food i stockpile , im still a little low on building the stock back up but im getting there . So im not phased by the idea of the Brexit shortages , it has been pointed out that milk will be a problem , so ive stashed a few extra cartons of milk powder , if none of the Armegeddon Brexit comes to pass it can go to the foodbank theres 2 years date on it

  3. I "tithe" my supermarket shopping by contributing goods to the worth of at least 10% of my estimated bill to the collection station on the way out. A drop n the ocean, but many a mickle mickle makes a muckle, to mix a few metaphors...

  4. I was recently talking about this with some friends. Most of them seem to be of the opinion nothing much will happen.
    I will be following your lead though we were already prepping for Universal credit so half the work is done I think

  5. I was wondering when someone would post about this as The Guardian has been posting articles almost every day. I have to say that I have been rather shocked at the response to the articles - a LOT of whining and calling out of the Govt. Whatever happened to a bit of self-sufficiency?
    We are told to always have 72 hours worth of food on hand and encouraged to keep at least three weeks worth if possible. I keep at least that on hand at all times - it just makes sense given our weather and the possibility of power cuts due to storms (we have to deal with ice-storms as well as thunder storms) never mind possible terrorist attacks or pandemics. I live in a small 1 brdm apt. and can still keep a pantry of this size plus six months worth of non food items (only buy these sorts of things when on sale).
    A lot of the Guardian comments mention that people who are already at risk simply don't have the funds to stock up and this is of course correct. However, I think that makes it even more important that those of us who can afford to put away a few tins or packages each month should do so and that way the Govt. can concentrate on looking after those most vulnerable if it becomes necessary. I think you are being very sensible and so I am on the side of "The Wise Virgins".

  6. I suggest a compromise between the two? Be prepared, but, also trust that you will be provided for!

    Over here, we are urged to be prepared for emergencies in the form of earthquakes (and hurricanes and tornadoes, depending on where you live). I stock up for earthquakes - if there is a major earthquake, then, there won't be electricity for several days; supermarkets won't be open for several weeks; if roads and other infrastructure is damaged, food and supplies will not be transported to supermarkets for months. So, the questions I ask myself include, can I manage for 3-6 months without access to a supermarket? Do I have enough canned and boxed food for myself, for my pet, for a neighbor who might not be quite as prepared/believed she will be provided for? If there is no electricity, is there another way to cook the food I have stocked? If there are gas leaks from damaged gas lines, then it is too dangerous to have open fires, so it would be hard to cook or even warm up food. If water mains and sewers are damaged, there won't be any water on tap for drinking, washing, cooking, flushing toilets, etc. Do I have enough stored water for drinking and basic washing? How would I dispose of waste products if there is no water to flush a toilet? (Answer: line a toilet with trash bags which can be tied up and buried afterwards).

    So, I do stock up, although perhaps not as much as I used to, since I am now just one person.

    As for the pancake syrup, pancakes are a breakfast staple in the American diet. :)


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!