While marveling at the size of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ new 570,391 square foot Bishops’ Central Storehouse (dedicated at the end of January), Naomi Schaefer Riley, writing in the Wall Street Journal, calls the new edifice “a symbol of strength and self-sufficiency.”
Quoting a former Church leader, Ms. Riley notes that the Church’s purpose in welfare efforts is “to help people to help themselves.” Those in need depend on storehouse food temporarily “because the church’s goal is to help them get back on their feet as soon as possible.”
And, because the Church is a global faith with more than 14 million Latter-day Saints located around the world, Ms. Riley says that “the church continues to be an important force in bringing food and supplies to the impoverished and victims of natural disasters. Local church leaders contact the central headquarters in Salt Lake City to tell them what is needed – gauze pads, school supplies, wheelchairs – and the church does its best to accommodate.”
How does the Church pay for it all? Ms. Riley correctly points out that Latter-day Saints fast once a month and “contribute what they would have spent on two meals” to the Church’s fast offering fund. Other donations are also used to help support the welfare program.