There are many reasons to be optimistic about overcoming the pandemic before us and getting our economy moving again (for example, one optimistic perspective is being offered by one of the world's leading epidemiologists, Professor Johan Giesecke). But the impact of broken supply chains, of excessive debt, and possible massive misallocation of resources (like taking trillions out of some sectors of the economy to funnel them to favored big businesses) can have many unexpected consequences in the future. Those consequences can lead to banks defaulting and problems in cash flow and finances for companies that manage your food supply, among many other supply chain problems. The food supply chain is nothing to take for granted. There are reports of food going to waste in many regions due to problems in transport and many other factors directly or indirectly related to COVID-19. Many products are already in short supply and prices of some are rising, even as prices of oil plummet, all a sign of market chaos.

There's no need to panic about food, just as there's no need to keep panicking about COVID-19, but wise precautions make sense in both areas. Are you ready if there's a shocking jolt in the realm of food? It could come from a bad turn in the weather, a broken international supply chain that creates a shortage in packaging materials, the economic collapse of major players related to the food supply, food processing plants being shut down due to disease, a trucking strike, or other events. Many items are already in short supply in many stores. When happens when something else goes wrong? Just be prepared.

I hope you will strengthen your ability to bless the lives of your family and those around you by building food storage steadily. For basics like grains, did you know that members in the United States can log into the Church's website and use the Church's online store to get some items such as #10 cans of red wheat? I didn't even know that until today, when a daughter-in-law explained it to me. Good prices for red wheat, but many other products appear to be sold out. I also made some purchases at Honeyville Farms, a Utah-based operation with a good selection of grains and other food-storage items. Again, many things are sold out -- we are not alone in recognizing the need for food storage, but bags of red wheat and a number of other products are still available.

Stay calm and prepare steadily.
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