Sunday, November 9, 2008

Are you storing food yet?

If you haven't started, it really is time. I can not recommend this strongly enough.

Reuters, in this story, noted that we will see "prices rise by at least seven percent in 2009". The thoughts are that it could rise by as much as twelve percent.

There are other issues as well. I have heard stories. They're just stories but one has to wonder when one hears them. Why would anyone start such a tale if there wasn't a kernel of truth to them somewhere?

A truck driver I know who delivers food to rural, and I mean rural (150+ miles from a major city), communities told me that the company he works for has scaled back deliveries. They used to make bi-weekly runs out there. Now they won't go unless they're delivering a full load to all the stores in the area.

Two small store operators I know have recently complained that a beverage company is demanding that they buy 24 cases of sodas per week. They said that they move maybe eight cases a week from their stores. The company will not allow the local stores to buy as a group and split the order.

What they've had to do is resort to COSTCO. They make a weekly run to the nearest one and split the order among the local small stores.

Everyone believes that the issue is the cost of diesel fuel, and the increased cost of production. Long runs for small loads are no longer profitable. The distributors won't give a reason directly.

I have heard from some people I know who live in major cities, that they've seen some of the smaller corner grocery stores going under as the economy continues to slide. In some of the big cities, many people don't own cars and it is a hassle to go more than a few blocks to get your food.

Then I came across this article.

Here's the fifth paragraph:

"Feeding America will receive $4.5 million from Kraft Foods to purchase 25 refrigerated trucks over three years that will be dispatched to rural communities and urban pockets across the nation where grocery stores and food pantries are difficult to get to or find."

As the Japanese would say, "Honto?" Really?

Grocery stores are difficult to get to OR FIND?

So the stories I've been hearing are not just the fantasy of a few people out there. If KRAFT Foods is donating $4.5 Million, there has to be SOME truth to it all. The article goes on to say that Kraft intends to donate $180 Million.

Corporate America doesn't give away stacks of cash unless there is a payout in the end. I have to wonder what deal was cut with the government.

The article then says, "Mobile pantries offer choice and dignity".

Wow. That sounds an awful lot like someone trying to head off unrest before it starts.

On top of that, if you Google "agricultural disaster" in the news section, there are 1,139 stories for the last 30 days. Droughts, floods, failed crops, even the disappearance of the honeybee.

What more prompting do you need?

Here's a tip for you.

The holidays are here. Watch for sales. At the end of last years holiday season, we were able to pick up number two and a half cans (29 ounces) of sweet potatoes, corn, and pumpkin for......are you ready for this?

0.25 each.

The date codes say they're good through 2010.

We'll use those this year. The date code on the cans in the store today say good through 2012.

I wonder if they'll still be 0.25 each. Even at $1.00 a piece they'd be a bargain.

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