February 18, 2010

Stockpiling, Emergency Preparedness, and Food Security

This week has flown by, and I realized this morning that I still haven’t posted this information. 

Stockpiling--Since most of you have probably already accomplished your shopping and errands this week, I’ll simply refer you to my weekly match-up post for stockpiling information.  There you will find links to match-ups for this week’s sales at Target, Kroger, Ingles, CVS, Walgreens, Earth Fare, and Co-op Advantage Stores.  If you haven’t already picked up the Target Olay/Razor Deal, I recommend that you give a call to  your local store to see if they have their shelves restocked.  I learned this week that Target stores typically restock late on Thursdays and Fridays after they receive new shipments. 

Emergency Preparedness--

ready-bagToday I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Diane Fox of the Knoxville-Knox County Emergency Management Agency.  The agency made available 200 of the Ready Kit bags shown to the left (and many more goodies) for The Knoxville Coupon Fair next weekend.  (I can’t wait to see the looks on attendees’ faces as they see all of the free goodies that this and other agencies have provided!)

If you are in the Knoxville area and are unable to attend the coupon fair, you can still receive one of these great bags for free.  Diane said that anyone interested should call the office to make arrangements to pick one up. 

If you are outside of the Knoxville area, I still encourage you to visit their website.  Among other links and resources, you’ll find a list of items that should be included in an emergency kit for your home.  Once you have your emergency kits made, be sure that you check your bags 2-3 times each year to see if anything need changed out or to be added. 

Food Security--

Learn from others.  I have learned the most about food security from people who have experienced struggle.  If you have never had to feed a family of 4 on $20 a week, if you’ve never had to stretch your budget because of a layoff,  you probably aren’t as adept at how to make ends meet.  Older adults in my life who have lived through wartime and The Depression taught me how to make nutritious and thrifty meals.  Clients who have lived without electricity have taught me about food storage.  Experiences I faced when I was younger have strengthened the “waste not, want not” mentality.  Seeing people who truly had nothing to eat, nothing to feed their family, has reinforced the importance of stockpiling with coupons.  I have emergency kits and foods readily available in part because of what friends and relatives experienced in the aftermath of Katrina. 

I encourage you to seek out learning opportunities wherever you can. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Volunteer at a senior center.  Ask questions about gardening, “putting food by”, and cooking.
  • Take a free cooking class.  You’ll find these at community colleges, gourmet foods stores, and higher end grocery stores.
  • Contact your local office that provides food stamps.  See if they have any free pamphlets on low energy cooking, healthy inexpensive meals or basic nutrition.
  • Seek out Depression Era cookbooks.  Among the weird recipes (Ritz cracker apple pie, anyone?—yes, I’m sure it is delicious) you’ll find some keepers.  
  • Volunteer with a food pantry or soup kitchen.  You will be amazed at how much you learn about life.  I am always so humbled by those experiences.  What right do I have to complain about having to cook dinner? 

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