The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not release its financial information in countries where it is not required by law to do so. Critics of the church that claims nearly 13 million members world-wide quickly submit that very little of the church’s money goes to charitable contributions. Whether or not the accusation is true, the Mormons take care of their own members and set an example that people in many other faiths could emulate and learn to benefit from.
The church’s welfare efforts, according to LDS.org, started in the 1930s during the days of the great depression. A general authority suggest that the church start its own program to help its members in a struggling economy. This may seem at odds with the message of self-reliance usually preached by the church, but the church also tries to give people the tools they need to remove themselves from the situation.
Food Distribution in the Mormon Church
A member who finds it difficult to stretch their food benefits out long enough can go to their bishop and ask for aid. In Utah and other areas with a high Mormon population, special stores are run by the church. The stores themselves are staffed by members who volunteer their time. A recent article that ran in the Deseret News claims that these stores are the best food that money can’t buy.
The church welfare program works differently in areas where Mormons are not a major part of the population. Order forms are placed and efforts are made to make sure nutritious meals are planned for the family or individual who will be receiving the food. The food often arrives in trucks, although this information comes from the author’s memory and might be highly dated. (Please use the comment feature to correct the details.)
Mormon Church Welfare — No Monetary Cost, but Not Necessarily Free
No money exchanges hands for the assistance given by the church, but people who receive assistance are often expected to volunteer their time either helping to take care of church grounds or offering assistance in some other way. Other programs have emerged that follow a similar philosophy, especially one that helps Mormons earn their education degree, but the education program is not church sponsored and the expectation is that those who receive aid from it will contribute to the fund when they are able.