“Use of Church Canneries Increasing,” Ensign, Sept. 1999, 80
“As part of the welfare program throughout the world, Church canneries have never been busier,” says Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop of the Church. “Principles of self-sufficiency and preparing for times of need are being practiced as never before.”
In the United States and Canada, the Church operates 91 canneries, with additional canneries worldwide. Canneries in the United States and Canada were used in 1996 to package about seven million pounds of food. In 1997 cannery usage increased 34 percent to 9,272,000 pounds, and 1998 saw a dramatic increase of 180 percent to 25,986,000 total pounds.
“A crescendo was reached late last year and early this year,” said Bishop Burton. “If the trend at the beginning of 1999 had kept up, Church canneries would have hit 80 million pounds this year, but things settled down during April, May, and June. Verbal reports from field managers indicate that future orders are down considerably.”
Church canneries are used to stock bishops’ storehouses and for personal storage. Individuals supply their own food, and the canneries provide the supplies and equipment needed to dry-pack the food into cans and foil bags.
Community organizations and groups from other religions sometimes use Church cannery facilities. For example, once a year in Sacramento, California, about 50 volunteers from the Woodland Ecumenical Ministries spend a Saturday at the local Church cannery making 5,000 cans of applesauce. The apples come from a community food bank, and the Church cannery supplies cans, lids, packing cases, cooking supplies, and supervisors.
“It’s unbelievable what this humanitarian project, now in its fifth year, is doing to change people’s attitudes toward the Mormons,” said William Marble, president of the Davis California Stake, who was elected as president of the Sacramento interfaith group, in which seven other Christian organizations also participate.