The Importance of Homestyle Food During Emergencies and Disasters

Lucien Canton recently wrote an article that was titled “Comfort Food for Disaster Victims.” He maintains that providing food that victims are used to eating, can be as important to their well-being as supplying shelter and blankets. In times of disaster, when people are looking at the loss of their home and possessions, a familiar tasting meal can offer comfort.

It used to be that relief organizations served whatever food they had on hand. Often it was bland, and most likely culturally inapropriate in ethnic areas. While these groups were performing noble work, they did not consider the effects their food had on those eating it. Consider that you’ve been through some type of crisis, experienced a loss, and now you’re eating food that is not only unfamiliar, but just tastes bad. It is one more negative experience that you have to endure. This certainly does not help morale.

Canton writes, “…Having a meal you reall enjoy doesn’t make up for losing your home and possessions to a fire but it does help with the shock and pain of the loss. It also suggests that those providing the relief see you as an individual.” Canton isn’t suggesting that every crisis meal needs to be catered, or needs to be culturally appropriate to every victim, every time. “I am suggesting, however, that we recognize that food can be an important comfort factor in times of crisis and that, whenever possible, emergency feeding operations include culturally appropriate food.”

Among other suggestions, Canton urged relief organizations to, “Consider options that offer wider menu choices such as Heater Meals or similar products.”HeaterMeals offers eight different lunch and dinner entrees and three breakfast entrees.

Our meal kits (HeaterMeals Plus, and HeaterMeals 3) come with name brand snacks and drinks. HeaterMeals are also shelf-stable. Our HeaterMeals Plus has a one-year shelf-life, and HeaterMeals Entrees have up to a two-year life. For longer storage periods, HeaterMeals 3 (three-year shelf life) and HeaterMeals EX Designed for EXtended Storage (up to five-years) are also available.

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