PBS News Report Calls Church’s Welfare System Impressive

Contributed By the Church News

  • 13 July 2016

Community volunteer Janile Davis stacks a crate with loaves of bread at the Welfare Square bakery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016.  Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • PBS says the Church’s welfare system is one of the world’s best.
  • The program highlighted the bishops’ storehouse, as well as employment centers and disaster relief.

“This is aid that we give to anybody just because they’re in need, and we feel that it’s the right thing to do.” —Steve Peterson, welfare system managing director

More people outside of the Church are learning about the Church’s welfare system after Lucky Severson, an Emmy Award-winning TV reporter, highlighted the system in a report on the PBS TV show Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.

The special included interviews with a handful of people who are involved in the welfare system, from the top director to a Relief Society president and ward member.

“There may be other charities that are larger or more helpful, but the welfare tradition within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must be one of the world’s best,” states the description of the article on pbs.org.

The television special focused on how the program supplies food, clothes, and care to people who are in need, no matter their religion. During the report, the welfare system’s managing director, Steve Peterson, calls the idea of caring for those who are in need a “scriptural mandate.”

“There are no strings attached to this,” said Brother Peterson in the report. “It’s not because they’re members or because we feel some obligation because of their beliefs that we help them. This is aid that we give to anybody just because they’re in need, and we feel that it’s the right thing to do.”

Also included in the report was an interview with Richard Humphreys, who is the manager of the bishops’ storehouse, as well as other interviews with service missionaries, a serving bishop, a Relief Society president, and a woman who has received assistance through the welfare system.

Other details included in the report highlighted the 115 bishops’ storehouses throughout the U.S., as well as other parts of the welfare system.

To see the video or read the transcript of the report, visit http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2016/06/24/mormon-welfare-program/31091/

The Welfare Square silos in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Volunteers slice and package loaves of bread at the Welfare Square bakery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Church-service missionary Elder Parker Hedin operates a bread slicer at the Welfare Square bakery in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

Fresh food, as well as nonperishables, are provided for those in need at the Welfare Square bishops’ storehouse in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.

The bishops’ storehouse at Welfare Square provides a wide variety of food for those in need in Salt Lake City, Tuesday, May, 31, 2016. Photo by Hans Koepsell, Deseret News.