News Release

Food Storage Helps Latter-day Saints Become Self-Reliant

In January 2012, William Ansah-Arthur, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in West Africa, passed away in the hospital a few days after having suddenly fallen ill.

Soon after his passing, women of his congregation’s Relief Society (the Relief Society is the Church’s organization for women) visited Yvonne Ansah-Arthur, William’s wife, and their four young children to check on them and offer service. They were pleasantly surprised to find the family was well prepared; their fridge, shelves and store room were full of food and supplies.

“Food storage has been a huge blessing to us,” said Ansah-Arthur. “Without all this food that we were able to store, I wonder how the children and I would have fared after my husband’s sudden demise.”

In the homes of most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is common to find a space well stocked with food that could last an average-sized family several for months to a year.

Since the establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1800s, leaders have encouraged members to be self-sufficient and have enough to spare in times of need. 

“Self-reliance is a product of our work and undergirds all other welfare practices. It is an essential element in our spiritual as well as our temporal well-being,” said the President Thomas S. Monson, worldwide leader of the Church.

William Ansah-Arthur had served as bishop of the Achimota Ward (a ward is a Latter-day Saint congregation) when he decided to focus on encouraging members to make serious efforts to follow this counsel, which is difficult for many who struggle to store enough food for even a month.

Despite challenges, the Ansah-Arthur family decided to double their expenditure on food until they had a good supply of provisions and essentials. They also kept livestock and planted a vegetable garden.

 “Food storage ensures food security and this has been a great blessing for my family,” said Lydia Anno, a member of the McCarthy Hill Ward. “I have been implementing food storage principles for the past 19 years and I intend to stick with it.”  

Most people interviewed said their biggest challenge in regards to food storage was finding the adequate funds to build their food supply.

“Storing food helps us save money in a country where prices are constantly on the increase. Also, we buy things in bulk from the wholesalers and are able to pay prices that are much lower than what the retailers charge,” said Marian Esiape, a member of the Batsona Ward. 

Relief Society members from different stakes (a stake is a group of Latter-day Saint wards, similar to a diocese) often organize seminars and workshops to help families gain more skill and insight into the best food preservation and storage practices. Resource persons from various government agencies and NGOs are often invited to share knowledge and skills at these workshops.

For more information on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints food storage practices, visit:


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