Hurricane Meal Kit Programs Upcoming

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We’re taking our Hurricane Meal Kits: Nutrition and Food Safety program
on the road to many of the libraries in the county. These programs focus
on thinking ahead and planning meals for you and your family should a
hurricane hit our area.

You may not need it, but we encourage planning for at least three days
meals for each family member, just in case. One other concern is that you
may not be able to get to a store or the grocery stores may not be open or
may not be getting new stock. You should plan meals that you could make
without electricity in case the power is out.

When I teach this class, one of the questions I ask the audience is “what did
you have for breakfast the morning after the last hurricane?” I get some
interesting answers, but many say they had chips and soda pop. This might
be OK for a day or two, but you could to better.

Many people commented that they wished they had….COFFEE. If coffee is
important to you in the morning, you might want to plan ahead and think about how you could make a hot cup of coffee if the power is out. Instant
coffee? Generator to run your pod coffee maker? Use the grill to heat
water? An old fondue pot with a candle? Camp stove? Make coffee before
the storm hits and put it in an insulated pot? Or do you have neighbors
with a propane stove (that’s our plan)? All of these methods would work—
the idea is to make sure you have a plan.

When deciding what to put in your meal kit, think balanced meals including
fruit, vegetables, calcium, fiber, protein, whole grains, vitamins and
minerals. Don’t forget about special dietary needs of family members or
pets. Write these menus down and keep them in the kit from year-to-year,
so they didn’t have to do the work over and over. To save even more time,
a shopping list for the planned menus could be added and stored.

Here are some ideas for healthful foods from the basic four food groups
and some “extras” that could go in your kits. Plan around what you and
your family like to eat.

Grain Group

Breakfast cereal, crackers, breakfast and nutrition bars, Boston brown
bread with raisins, melba toast, vanilla wafers, bread sticks, graham
crackers and pretzels. Before the storm gets here go out and pick up fresh
whole grain bread and round flat breads for wraps.

Vegetable group

Canned or single serving vegetables and soups, canned 3 bean salad,
mushrooms and salsa. Purchase some fresh items such as broccoli and
carrots just before the storm.

Fruit Groups

Canned or single serving fruit or fruit cups in their own juice, dried fruit,
100% fruit juice, trail mix with fruit, packaged raisins, dried apricots or
cranberries, fruit cocktail and unsweetened applesauce. Pre-storm get
some fresh fruit that doesn’t need refrigeration such as apples, bananas
and oranges.

Dairy group—no refrigeration needed

Select non-fat versions of powdered, canned or shelf stable milk. Other
choices could be Ensure, puddings, nutritional drinks and processed cheese

Protein Group

Meat soups, canned tuna, canned ham, canned salmon, sardines, chili,
beans, peanut butter, bean spreads, packaged nuts and beef or turkey


Bottled water, sports drinks, instant iced tea, instant coffee, tea bags,
powdered drink mixes, jelly, small packets of ketchup, mustard and mayo,
granola bars, fruit bars, infant food and formula and food for special diets.

If you’d like to learn more, our Family and Consumer Science team will be
sharing ideas for menus, foods and “must have” items to include your meal
kits at these libraries throughout the county:

  • July 5th-Leland Library, 2 p.m.
  • July 16th-Barbee Library in Oak Island, 10 a.m.
  • July 23rd-South Brunswick Library in Calabash, 2 p.m.
  • July 26th-Rourk Library in Shallotte, 11 a.m.

These classes are free of charge and open to the public. For additional
information, contact Family and Consumer Science Agent, Avery Ashley at
the N.C. Cooperative Extension Brunswick County Center or or by calling 910-253-2610.

For more ideas can also check out the Hurricane Meal Kit program in the
Family and Consumer Science (FCS) section of the NC Brunswick County
Cooperative Extension website.

Preparing for a potential disaster really matters. Stress and anxiety can be
reduced with planning ahead for optimal nutrition, adequate hydration and
food safety.

Syracuse is a Family and Consumer Science team member and can be
reached at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center 910-253-