Amidst the Coronavirus rush for toilet paper among other grocery store items, McKay Coppins, writer for The Atlantic, recently shone a light on the Latter-day Saint counsel to have “food storage” and the many ways it has “spawned a quirky subculture within the faith, complete with home-picking seminars, dedicated Pinterest pages, and custom-made furniture for cleverly storing canned good.” But Coppins, a member of the Church himself, points out that the purpose of Latter-day Saint food storage is not focused on the end of the world but to ensure that “should adversity come, we may care for ourselves and our neighbors, and support bishops as they care for others.”
After sharing his own personal journey with food storage from childhood to adulting, complete with a gift of canned goods from his in-laws, Coppins explains that COVID-19 led him to take inventory. What he found as he surveyed his supply was a great deal of relief.
“I knew that the sense of relief I felt as we examined the cans was irrational. Our fridge and cupboards were full,” Coppins wrote. “The grocery store would get new deliveries the next day. The likelihood of a serious food shortage in America remained, according to experts, extremely small. But the ritual of counting and stacking and sorting the cans—like so many rituals of faith—offered something more abstract than physical sustenance: peace of mind, a sense of hope, something to grip while the world is unraveling.”
Read the full column here.