Church Offers Emergency Food Storage Education to Members and Neighbors Alike

Contributed By Kelly Foss, Church News contributor

  • 30 December 2015

Sister Balla from Fred, Texas, drove 2 1/2 hours to attend the seminar and pick up items for her ward members.  Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Enthusiasm for preparedness was palpable at a recent food storage class held at an LDS meetinghouse next door to the Church’s home storage center.

Seasoned “preppers” and novices to the idea of home storage came from all over the Houston area and southeast Texas to learn specifics of home food storage, water storage, cooking in emergencies, and how to accumulate and store commodities safely and economically.

This free community class was taught on November 21 by Cheryl Driggs, Houston area emergency preparedness specialist. With a background in food science and nutrition, Sister Driggs has 38 years of experience teaching and “doing” home storage. “We are anxious for people to build skills in this area and take steps on their own,” she said.

Home storage has broad appeal, she noted. “You never know who is interested. There are many people getting interested in food storage considering the state of the economy and the state of society,” she added.

Norma Atherton, senior trainer with the Houston Health Department in Public Health Preparedness, and part of the city of Houston’s emergency response team, attended several classes. She first began emergency preparations with her family in the early 1960s.

“My father carpooled with a man whose family was LDS, and this man was his best friend. That LDS family influenced my father’s thinking for storing a year of food. We had a big yard and we grew a lot of our own food. My mother, sister, and I did the food canning and food preservation. I have continued to store an emergency food supply to this day,” she said.

After taking the class, Charman Balla from Fred, Texas, visited the home storage center. She drove 2.5 hours to be able to gather information and commodities for other members.

Sister Balla is committed to helping members follow the admonition of Church leaders. The Church has 101 home storage centers across North America, and commodities can be purchased online at

Home storage cookbook provided free of charge to seminar attendees by the city of Houston. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Some basic storage items. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Completing a purchase of home storage items at the home canning center. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Seminar attendees picking up some storage supplies. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Home canning center prepackaged canned goods. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Checking an order in the Houston home canning center. Photo by Jennifer Martino.

Sister Balla (on the right) from Fred, Texas, drove 2 1/2 hours to attend the seminar and pick up items for her ward members. Photo by Jennifer Martino.