Jed and Stuart were best friends and next-door neighbors. They did everything together. They built a secret castle and fought off armies of fierce make-believe creatures. They played hide-and-seek and knew all the best hiding spots. They climbed the biggest trees in the neighborhood with ease.
They even had the chicken pox at the same time. When school was in session, they walked together, sat together, played together, and ate lunch together every single day. They always tried to eat lunch very quickly and be the first ones out to play so that they could get the soccer ball.
However, there was a little problem that made it difficult to be the first ones done with lunch. Jed’s sandwich was always so big that he couldn’t finish it very fast. Stuart would finish his lunch in a flash, look over, and see Jed still munching away on his giant sandwich.
After waiting for him about a thousand times, Stuart finally figured out why it took Jed so long to eat. “It’s your bread!” he announced. “Your bread is weird. It’s not like regular bread.”
Jed looked at his sandwich. “It looks regular to me. It’s the same bread I always eat.”
The next day Stuart waited to eat his sandwich. “Look,” he said to Jed, “hold your sandwich up next to mine so we can compare.” Jed’s sandwich was much bigger than Stuart’s. “We may have the same things inside,” Stuart insisted, “but the outside is definitely not the same. Your bread is strange looking. Where do you get it?”
“My mom makes it.”
“What for? You can just go to the store and buy it, and it tastes great—all soft and squishy. Yours looks kind of stiff.”
“My mom makes it for a lot of reasons,” Jed answered. “For one thing, we have a lot of flour in our year’s supply, and she doesn’t want it to get old.”
“What’s a year’s supply?”
“Come over after school, and I’ll show you.”
After school, Stuart saw the storeroom Jed’s father had built. There were shelves full of cans and jars and boxes and barrels, Stuart couldn’t believe his eyes.
“It’s like your own grocery store!” he exclaimed. “Why do you have so much stuff? Can’t you just buy more when you run out?”
“We keep extra food in our house in case something happens and we can’t get to the store. The leaders of our church have taught us to be prepared in case anything bad happens,” Jed explained. “It’s not just food we store. We have blankets, candles, toilet paper, soap, matches, a first-aid kit, and lots of other things.”
“When are you ever going to need all this stuff?” asked Stuart.
“We eat the food and replace it as we go along. We hope we never have to use some of the other stuff, but our church leaders have told us that we need to be ready, just in case.”
After that, Jed still brought his giant sandwiches, and Stuart still waited for him to hurry up and finish. Jed often offered some of his sandwich to Stuart, but Stuart didn’t think he’d like year’s-supply bread.
Late in March, there was a terrible storm. It snowed for days and days, and the roads into town were blocked. No trucks could bring in food, and soon the stores were running out of things. People were getting worried that they wouldn’t have enough to eat if the storm didn’t quit soon. Things were getting pretty scary.
One day Stuart told Jed that there wasn’t much left to eat at his house. That night, Jed’s mom invited Stuart and his family over for dinner. They had a nice big meal, and Stuart’s family wondered where all the food came from.
“It’s from their year’s supply,” Stuart explained. He told his family all about Jed’s family’s “grocery store.”
The following day, Jed took a big, warm loaf of homemade bread next door. Stuart’s family was very happy to have it. Until the roads were cleared and things were back to normal, the two families shared all they had and made it through the hard time.
One day not long afterward, Stuart and Jed were having lunch with some other boys. They were all trying to hurry so that they could get the soccer ball. One of the boys noticed Jed’s giant sandwich.
“What kind of weird sandwich is that?” he asked. Before Jed could answer, Stuart stood up tall and told the boy, “That’s made with year’s-supply bread, and it’s the best bread in the whole wide world!” Then he sat down and took a bite from his very own giant year’s-supply-bread sandwich.