The LDS church, commonly known as the Mormon Church, has long had a welfare program for the benefit of its members in need. Believing that the best way to deal with the problem of needy members is not to have any, the church also strongly encourages its membership to be as self-reliant and self-dependent as possible. To further this end it provides access to church owned cannery facilities and makes large, economical bulk purchases of storage foods to sell at cost to any member with an interest in starting a personal food storage program.

Most facilities will be located at one of the LDS Bishop's Storehouses located in various places around the country, but some churches will also have their own local facilities. The easiest means of finding out is simply to ask the LDS church member you know. If they don't themselves know, or you don't know any Mormons then a little phone book research will be necessary. Find your nearest local Mormon church and ask about speaking with the local Bishop of the Ward or Relief Society president. Either one of those two individuals will be able to give you the information you seek. Failing any of the above, you can also call the LDS church headquarters in Salt Lake City at 1- 800-453-3860 extension 4164.

Or you can write to:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Welfare Services
Seventh Floor
50 East North Temple Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84150

If you find that you have a cannery within striking distance then give them a call. Inquire about whether they allow non-church members to use the facilities, available times, what you need to provide and what is not suitable for canning. Be up front and honest with them, you'll hardly be the first one to want to talk to them about food storage. Ask for a copy of the cannery guidelines and a price list of what is available. There may also be classes or seminars available. There is a certain degree of variability between the canneries so what is available at one may not be at another.

IMPORTANT NOTE: With the onset of the millennium the LDS family cannery volunteers are becoming quite busy so be prepared to have to work with their available scheduling. In the earlier part of this year (1999) most Family Canneries were not able to allow access to non-LDS members but reports have been coming in that some canneries are now allowing non-member use once more. You'll have to investigate yourself to determine if your local cannery is one of these. Please do keep in mind that the individuals responsible for the family canneries are all volunteers with demands on their time from many areas. Be courteous when speaking with them and, if there are facilities for use, flexible in making arrangements to use them. You will, of course, have to pay for the supplies that you use, cans and lids at the least, and any food products you get from them. As a general rule they cannot put your food in storage for you. Be ready to pay for your purchases in advance, if necessary. They do not take credit cards and probably cannot make change so take a check with you.

Any food products you want to have sealed in cans will need to fall within their guidelines of suitability for that type of packaging. This is for reasons of spoilage control since many types of foods just aren't suitable for just sealing in a container without further processing. If you purchase food products from them, they will already be within those guidelines. A brief treatment of these guidelines may be found below.


Subject to some variability, the following foods are generally available at the canneries:

Apple slices, dried Macaroni Rice, white Beans, pinto, pink, Milk, non-fat dry Soup mix great Northern Oats, quick rolled Spaghetti Carrots, dry Onions, dry Sugar, white Cocoa, hot mix Pudding mix Wheat berries Flour, white (chocolate & vanilla) (hard red winter) Fruit drink mix

You will be able to purchase the necessary cans, oxygen absorbers, boxes and plastic lids for what you want to can.

The following food items are not
thought to store well when dry pack canned and
generally cannot be put up at the cannery:
Baked goods Egg noodles Peanut butter Baking powder Flour, whole wheat Rice, brown or soda Granolas Spices Barley, pearled Honey Sugar, brown Cereal, milled grain Mixes, if they contain Yeast Coconut leavening agents Cornmeal Nuts, roasted or raw Dried meats Oils or fats

Although I am not in complete agreement with the above list, it is workable and will get the job done. Make sure that the food you want to pack has little fat content and strive to make sure it has a low moisture content and you should be OK. For grains, legumes, flours, meals and dried fruits and vegetables do make sure to use the oxygen absorbers. You should not assume the food is insect free. When the packets remove the available oxygen any insect life in the can will either die or at least go into stasis.

Misc.Survivalism FAQs maintained by Alan T. Hagan,
Copyright ©1996, 1997, 1998, 1999. Alan T. Hagan. All rights reserved.

Excluding contributions attributed to specific individuals all material in this work is copyrighted to Alan T. Hagan and all rights are reserved. This work may be copied and distributed freely as long as the entire text, my and the contributor's names and this copyright notice remain intact, unless my prior express permission has been obtained. This FAQ may not be distributed for financial gain, included in commercial collections or compilations or included as a part of the content of any web site without prior, express permission from the author.