Many of my non-LDS friends ask me, why do the Mormons store food? In fact, there is only a very small percentage that actually have a year-supply of food storage and a great majority that have no food storage at all. (see my article on the Top 12 Reasons Not to Have Food Storage).
Well, besides the fact that it is a commandment from the prophets, Church leaders have always counseled members to become self-sufficient—to be prepared to meet the challenges of life. Not only that, but have been counseled to get out of debt and live within our means. We have been told to prepare for natural disasters. We have been told to have a long-term supply of food storage. It is NOT merely a suggestion, it is a commandment!
Most people may never encounter a huge natural disaster (at least they have not yet), but there are still many other situations in which having a food storage would be greatly beneficial. Such situations would include unemployment, injury, illness. There are a multitude of people losing their jobs and their homes in this tumultuous economy.
Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their… supply of food… and were debt free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free. — President Thomas S Monson (“That Noble Gift—Love at Home,” Church News, May 12, 2001, 7 quoted in “Family Home Storage: A New Message,” Ensign, March 2009, 56–60.)
Food storage is also a financial investment. Food is a commodity is affected by inflation. It is like storing gold or silver, but you can actually eat food. Food prices at the LDS Family Storage Centers have recently increased by nearly 50%. So, in essence, you can actually generate a higher return on your investment in food storage than you could with a high-interest savings account at your bank.
Finally, food storage brings peace of mind. I lived in Houston when Hurricane Ike hit in 2008. There was no electricity for 3 weeks and most all grocery stores were closed (the ones that could be open did not have anything to sell). Having food storage brought peace to the situation; we had food to survive.