For close to 170 years, Mormons have practiced what is called fasting. In "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" today (as the 'Mormon Church' is really named), members are asked to fast once a month, missing two meals they would usually eat. The money they would have spent is collected by young boys who are ordained members of the Aaronic Priesthood, at the homes of members. The funds collected are used to both fund what are called "Bishop's Storehouses", as well as thrift stores called "Deseret Industries" where those who have difficulty getting a job are given training. And the funds are dispersed to both members (of the LDS faith), as well as non-members, according to their need, and the local bishop's judgement as to how to best help each supplicant.
I spoke a week ago with a friend of mine who lost his job end of last year. Unemployment funds were available to him until recently. He has both extensive experience in finances and also Oracle. He lost his job when the contractor he worked for lost the bid to continue their work on maintenance of an MX missile system at a local military installation. He has been substitute teaching classes in finance and accounting and such at a community college.
The ward (congregation) 'Relief Society President', a woman, is sent by the bishop of the local ward to the home of these people, and writes up an assessment of their needs. Then things like food orders are made, which those who receive it are expected to do some work somewhere to help compensate for the help they receive. This helps to separate this from just a mere hand-out.
And as a Ward Clerk a few years ago, I saw first-hand how much the bishop of a ward pays out in funds to help both Mormons and "friends of other faiths" (or no faith) with their needs. While the funds can't be used for house payments. They can be used to pay or help pay utility bills, medical bills, and other essentials.a
It is amazing how much a little sacrifice can help.
Of course, those who are able to give more than the value of two meals do so. One business colleague of mine, who, between him and his wife are the parents of 10 children, told me a few years ago, that he finds that the Lord blesses him the more he gives. He intimated that several hundred dollars a month is what he (at least then) tried to give. He felt and believes that the blessings God grants him outweigh the money he gives there.
And then, of course, there is the principle of tithing, giving one-tenth of one's "increase" (income) is another principle LDS Church members are asked to live too. I can tell you that the promise made in Malachi is fulfilled when one fully lives this principle—
8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
—(Old Testament | Malachi 3:8 - 12)
You want solutions to shortages? Hey, let me GUARANTEE EVERYONE OF YOU that if you keep this commandment, as an individual, as a family, as a community, yes, even as a nation, God can, will and does bless those who keep this commandment.
I have FAR MORE STUFF than I have room to store it! And it is all due to the blessings that "the man upstairs" gives us!
God has a 'GOSPEL' (literally "good news") plan to Bless and Benefit ALL MANKIND, not only in the world to come, but VERY IMPORTANTLY HERE TOO!
Interestingly, in recent years, scientific/medical evidence has come out that the fasting done by Latter-Day Saints has a health benefit. That of helping to reset their glucose level monthly, which has, according to the study, a cumulative effect over a lifetime!
I get the distinct impression you're Mormon. :juggle: