Friday, August 8, 2008

A couple of follow-ups

Just a little unfinished business, if you will: (that is, if you are interested :)

---On Wednesday we used the contact number for the guy at the local foodbank. When he called back, my husband found out the whens/wheres, etc. necessary to drop off our donation on Thursday morning. According to the information we had, there was a particular need for canned meats and fruit, so I made sure some was included. (I guess I could have had my husband ask, but I've always wondered what exactly they meant by "canned meat." I mean, spam is an obvious one, as is tuna, but I wondered if something like stew or something with high meat content is also what they are looking for. But I digress.)

The reason that this little outing to the foodbank is worthy of a follow-up is because of what my husband learned when he dropped the stuff off. Apparently, the foodbank supplied food to over 2000 people this past month, which is an increase of like 30-35%. Also, in our community, 2000 people is a notable percentage of our population. We already knew that the foodbank was running low because of the notice that we read--they indicated that the food drives were finished and the supplies from the ones that had taken place were gone. So my question is, what do you do when 2000 people come knocking at your door, and you have next-to-nothing on the shelves? When I heard those numbers, our donation didn't seem very large at all. But like my husband said, (it reminded me of the starfish story) it will matter to the ones that do get it. My point? The number of people in need is even bigger than I thought--and I thought it was pretty bad in the first place. Not the most cheerful follow-up, but true.

--In my August 1st post, I mentioned someone else's idea to use your staples first when you think that there might be a power outage, so that you can save your more "ready-made" items like canned foods for when generating power might be more of a problem. Riverwalker from Stealth Survival made a good point when he left a comment about using your frozen items first when there is concern about a power outage. In our situation, we don't consider the food we have to keep cold as a long-term storage option because we have no generator, but we do like to freeze stuff ahead to use later while there is power, because it is more economical. That said, if there were a power outage, we would want to salvage what we could from our refrigerator and/or freezer. Since reading that comment, I have come across this article, which gives some guidelines about food safety when it comes to refrigerators and/or freezers. If you have been reading my blog, you will have already realized this, but here is a reminder: I am not an expert--I put these ideas out so that people will possibly see more options and make the best choices for their own situations. I thought these ideas were pretty good, though. I will need to print out a copy before the power goes out.... :)

--And, saving the oldest for last, in my May 26th post, I listed the serving amounts for rice. The 3/4 cup serving results from cooking 1/4 cup rice. Perhaps everyone already knew that. I just didn't want anyone blaming me when they ran out of rice a lot faster than planned because they cooked 3/4 cup of rice instead of 1/4 cup. Ahhh. Nothing like clarification to make sure that I explained it right. Finally. :)

Nothing like learning more right? Thanks to all for the ideas you leave. They are much appreciated!


riverwalker said...

Thanks for the link. Freezing extra food items is a good economical practice but if the power goes out you will need to salvage (i.e. use) as much as possible before using other long term food stuffs. Thanks.


riverwalker said...

BTW, Put a link to your site on my new post. Hope this OK?


The Scavenger said...

Marie, I didn't know that the food banks were in such trouble. I will be sure to contact mine to see what the need is in my area. Thanks for bringing it up, I would have never known otherwise.


Marie said...

Riverwalker--I will have to be careful with my freezer items if the power goes out--we don't have that much in there right now but we usually buy bread cheap and freeze it to save money, and buy meat in bulk and freeze it--the meat wouldn't last long in a long-term power outage. And "use" is a much nicer word when it comes to food than "salvage"--thanks for your comment.
Thanks also for linking me on your post--it's a great post!

Chris--I had seen some articles on food banks having trouble in other parts of the nation, but I really realized the one in our area was having problems when I saw the community bulletin.
I hope that things aren't as bad in your area, but it's good of you to check. Your comments are always appreciated!


Bill in NC said...

You don't need much power to keep a chest freezer going.

IIRC, Ragnar Benson said in one of his books that he ran his diesel generator 1 hour/day (using about 1 quart of diesel) and that was sufficient to keep his food frozen.

Marie said...

Bill--Thanks for the information. I did not know that so little fuel/time could do so much, but it makes getting a generator that much more attractive. I would think that it would almost be a necessity if you were facing a long-term power outage, and a lot of your storage was in frozen form. We have a few items that are higher on our list in terms of preparation, but a generator is certainly on it! Appreciate your comment!