I’ve found since I started prepping that there are a couple of ways I can really easily combine my prepping with my urge to help others. At first glance, it seems a bit counter-intuitive. Prepping is all about taking care of your own needs, not necessarily the needs of others. That aspect of the prepping community actually bothers me a little bit. I can’t help but think that communities will (in large part) sink or swim together. I’m one that would rather set up a soup pot in my lawn and damn the opsec rather than watch my neighbors go hungry.
Right now, a soup pot in my lawn isn’t the best way to help people who are hungry in my community, so I donate food to the local food banks. I do this in two ways. One, I time my annual culling of can goods to coincide with the food drive my employer sponsors every November. I know I won’t get through 12 cans of corn that have use by dates of Jan 2014, but I bet the food bank can get them out to 12 families that could use them.
I should interject here of course, that use by dates aren’t an expiration, and you can safely eat such things. The Food Bank of Iowa has a list of Food Shelf Extended Dates, listing exactly which “expired” foods, including canned items, it accepts. This same list might also help you decide which foods you feel comfortable keeping and using yourself.
Back to my original premise though, the second way I donate food is with with the Plant a Row for the Hungry program. I plant extra veggies in my garden, and encourage those in the community garden or neighbor gardens to do the same. Then we donate the extras to the food pantry.
I’m growing the veggies anyway, so why not? Same for the canned goods, sure I should use them all up ideally, but I don’t stress about that so much now because I know I can donate them and still feel good about it.
What about you? How do you combine your prepping with charity? Or are you more of a take care of Numero Uno, opsec 100%, damn the neighbors?
Sound off in the comments!
– Calamity Jane