Thursday, February 19, 2009

What have you noticed?

I ask the question that is the blog title because some things that are happening that might lead to more people needing their emergency supplies (of which they hopefully have many) are happening around our state.

Personally, sometime recently I went out to a store that used to be opened until 10:00 PM to see what their prices were on a needed purchase. I arrived to find an empty parking lot, and found upon driving past the front of the store that they are now only open until 9:00 PM. Since I don't make such trips often, that isn't that big of a deal to me, but it probably has a pretty negative cumulative effect on someone's paycheck who hypothetically could lose 5-6 hours a week off their paycheck if that used to be their shift. Even (or especially) at minimum wage, that kind of cut would hurt...

In the news, there are other things to consider, such as:

--In this article, we can read about how more families are struggling, leading to more children needing assistance in the form of school meals. This quote, found in the article,

“There are still a good number of families we know that are either trying to push by or are too proud,” said Doug Wordell, director of nutrition services for Spokane schools. “There are a lot of barriers, pride issues, economic and social pressures that are keeping families from participating.”

leaves out one option that may be in play if people aren't participating but appear to be struggling. The families to which the quote refers could quite possibly be using their food storage or emergency supplies which they had put aside in order to continue to provide for their families. If this is the case, I don't call such families proud. I call them responsible and wise for having had the foresight to put something aside for hard times. It is impossible to know, of course, but non-participation doesn't mean that the motivation for not participating is a negative one.

--In the "do you want the good news or the bad news first" category, there is this article, which discusses a food drive that went better than expected. (OK, I made an executive decision to tell you the good news first... :) Some of the bad news can be found in this paragraph:

"Area food banks estimate that 25,000 people within the four-state region of Idaho, Washington, Montana, and Oregon seek assistance each week. Compounding this year's 30% increase in demand for food is a 38% drop in donations from corporate food producers who are increasingly clearing out merchandise through dollar stores and discount outlets. The campaign this year was critical because it increased post holiday contributions, which traditionally decline in January and February while food bank demands remain high."

Wish that food bank demands didn't remain so high. And that it was only necessary this year. However, according to the article:

"In a perfect world, we'd only have to do this once," said Tom Harris, "but we're already gearing up for next year's campaign. We may even need to bring in a CAT 773 to carry all of the donations."

In a nutshell: Good news = lots of donations. Bad news = lots of need, with a forecast that the need will continue.

---Newspapers are hurting big time, from what I understand, and just one example of cutting down on newspaper production/ delivery that I have heard of can be found in this article. While,

"For now, editors say they do not anticipate lay-offs in the newsroom",

I can only surmise that hours and thus wages will be cut significantly for many people involved. I have noticed in the local paper that there are hardly any job listings, and the paper has gotten thinner and thinner as time has gone on.

So what have you noticed that could increase the need for emergency food storage and supplies? I heard, rather than saw, a person mention on the TV, I believe, that his job was secure. Don't know what that job was, but losing employment is only one incidence in which someone might need to use emergency provisions. Having been to the store lately and seen prices that are getting higher, I can think of at least one more reason that I'm glad that I have already started to get some food storage in. Always trying to improve the supplies, and finding more reasons to do so all the time, unfortunately...


mmpaints said...

Hey Marie, good post. Here I'm seeing unemployment, a rise in property crime, closed down businesses and hostility on the roads. Lack of money creates stress in people and that makes for dangerous times. Food pantries are empty here with no one to donate.

Kymber said...

I will have to go digging for the specific links and get back to you with them - but, I, too, have been noticing strange things in the news and other places that are leading more people needing their emergency supplies. One thing that comes immediately to my mind is the letters we have been receiving from our Food Bank here in Ottawa. We have donated (just a small amount but everything counts right?) for the past 7 years. During the past 7 years we receive approximately 4 letters a year - very standard letters that encourage you to donate. However in the past year, we have received letters on a monthly basis - the letters have become much more personal and are almost to the point of begging for donations. And the letters have been stating that what the Food Bank used to operate on in years past is just not enough anymore. Anyway - thanks for the though-provoking post - I have really ben enjoying all of your posts! Keep up the good work Marie!

Marie said...

MMPaints--It's getting scarier out there--I haven't heard about road hostility here, but there was a weird episode here in Idaho not too long ago where an alleged shoplifter took luxury items and had to be chased down and was armed and turned the whole thing into a scary situation. My first thought before I heard the details was that the person was hungry, desperate, etc., but no. I really hope that people don't have to turn to crime to feed themselves and/or their families...

Kymber-- Wow, that's a lot of contact with the food bank. You sound a lot like us, actually--we donate, but it's not what they always ask for (large amounts), but we do figure everything counts. We haven't had that many letters, but it does seem like they are coming up with more and more programs (backpacks on the weekends, for example) that they need help financing. I feel the worst for the children involved, because it would be difficult (understatement) to be turned away even at the food bank, and have nothing to feed the kids.
Your comment reminds me that I need to update my sidebar to include the Canadian Prepppers--so glad that more and more people are involved--the more people that are prepared, the fewer problems there will be.

Thanks very much to both of you for your comments--I really appreciate your input!


American Prepper said...

I've noticed the following 2 things

1) More and More people are talking about what to do to prep, those who were asleep are now awakening. Economy is topic #1 on peoples minds. What to do about it is topic #2

2) I've noticed fines increasing, more speed and red light cams and more and more cops ticketing people in order to generate revenue for their municipalities. This is real dangerous as it only generates more resentment amongst the citizens.

**You can delete this last part of this post if you wish. I have secured some more domain names., as well as all point to your blog now.


Marie said...

Tom--I agree that more and more people are worried about the economy--it's interesting to me how many people have different ideas about what to do about it, too, that are nowhere near what I would think would be good.
On your second point, I haven't seen this happening, but I have thought that they might do it, because of the reported lack of funds so many places. I guess it will just pay more than ever to drive safely...anyone would hate to get an extra expense like that, especially if it's hard to make ends meet in the first place.

Thanks for all of your hard work on the American Prepper and other Prepper Networks. I still think someone else could do a better job on this site, but I keep learning... thanks for your comment!

American Prepper said...

Marie, I think your are doing an outstanding Job. keep up the good work!

Marie said...

American Prepper--Thanks for your kind words! I left off your second comment altogether this time, but I did receive it. I guess it's my technological ineptitude showing--I don't know how to publish comments in part without cut and pasting (if that's possible). Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks for being so thorough on the prepper network!

Kymber said...

Marie - I support Tom's assessment - YOU are doing an awesome job on this site! it's why I check back regularly!
And, Marie, I also support your assessment of Tom's work - he has done an amazing job on this network!
I am very glad to be a part of this network and very glad to make new friends with people like you, Marie!
Please keep up the awesome work that you are doing here!

Marie said...

Kymber--Thanks, and I agree that the Prepper Networks were a brilliant idea-- Tom has done an excellent job getting so many people involved. Now there are so many more places to go for all kinds of helpful information, made all the better because it's international now. Thanks for the information you provide on your site--I visit yours regularly, and love the insight I find there. Thanks for the comment, and your kind words!