What might prompt me to sit on a stool for four hours and watch fresh green beans roll down a conveyer belt, making sure no stems or reject green beans slip through? And what prompted my husband to cut up vegetables for hours for canned beef stew? The love we have for our brothers and sisters in financial need. Both of us have had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at the LDS Ogden wet pack cannery. Serving at a cannery is a beautiful yet unique experience. Beautiful in how we have the opportunity to work to help create food products for brothers and sisters in need. Unique because we see the amazing process of how canned food is made from start to finish. After serving at a cannery you really appreciate factory workers who do this every day.
Serving at the cannery has helped me understand how the Welfare program works in the LDS Church; a program that functions without government intervention because those that work at the canneries are volunteer missionaries, and people like me and you. Food is canned and stored for those needing basic commodities. Those needing assistance can also work at the cannery as well which is a way to help people help themselves.
True, those of us who serve at the cannery are able to purchase a few cases of canned foods, but we are able to help create hundreds more for others.
Ronald Reagan visiting with workers at the Ogden Area Welfare Service Center cannery in Ogden, Utah accompanied by Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson, September 10, 1982. LDS.org
“The Lord provided the way when He declared, “And the storehouse shall be kept by the consecrations of the church; and the widows and orphans shall be provided for, as also the poor” (D&C 83:6). . . .When we care for those in need, the outcome benefits all.” President Thomas S. Monson.
Someday I could be on church assistance, or you. It’s nice to know that there is a wonderful program for us if that time comes. If you aren’t a member of the LDS church, ask a Mormon friend to invite you along on a cannery assignment to experience the LDS welfare program in action.
Providing in the Lord’s Way: The purpose of Church welfare is to help Church members become self-reliant, care for the poor and needy, and serve others.