LDS Church announces changes to Welfare Services
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced changes to its Welfare operations in a Thursday press release.
Beginning next year, the church will convert a portion of its raw wheat supplies into finished goods and make them available for storehouses and pantries through the country the press release said.
In Utah County, that will affect the Lindon and Springville Home Storage centers and Bishop’s Storehouses. It will also provide more products for sale on the church’s online store.
There are 20 Home Storage locations throughout Utah, including Welfare Square in Salt Lake City. There are 81 other locations throughout the U.S. and five in Canada.
There is a variety of case good items available through the church’s online store include fruit, vegetables, beans, rice, potato flakes, non-fat dried milk, quick oats and raw red and white wheat, sugar and macaroni. New products that will be made from the raw wheat production include pasta, pancake mix, flour and other finished goods.
The Home Storage centers sell additional items like peanut butter and honey.
The products are available to anyone for purchase. They need not be members of the church.
“In the next several years we anticipate increasing food donations to community charities by more than 20 million pounds annually,” said Bishop Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of the church, said in the press release.
In explaining the increase in food contributions, Bishop Caussé continued, “The Church recently decided it may be more helpful for the families and community agencies we serve to supply pasta, pancake mix, flour and other ‘finished’ goods rather than raw wheat, which is often hard to process at home.”
Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president and a member of the LDS Church’s Welfare and Self-Reliance Executive Committee, said in the release. “Food storage is a foundational principle of self-reliance, taught to Latter-day Saint families worldwide. Just as the Church adapts food production and storage projects according to changing needs, families may want to make similar adjustments from time to time in their food storage plans to ensure availability for their own use and to share with others.”
Since the Great Depression, when the Welfare Services became a major program of the church, members have been encouraged to build food storage in their homes a personal circumstances and local regulations allow.
David Frischknecht, managing director of the Church’s welfare operations, said in a press release, “The recent decision to convert a portion of our stored grain into finished products is an example of adapting to changing situations. In this case, having the finished products helps us provide for needs more quickly, particularly in emergencies, and to share more readily with those in need.”
In order to make these changes, operational adjustments will be made. The Latty, Ohio, storage facility will close, and increasing the volunteer hours at the Deseret Mill and Pasta Plant in Kaysville will be needed.
The press release also said the church will continue its practice of partnering with other agencies in assisting those in need.
The Church will continue to provide raw wheat for purchase through home storage centers and store.lds.org and will seek to provide selected finished products that many members of the Church may find to be more convenient to use in a time of need. Commercial products may also be used to develop food storage for the home.