Come Hurricane or Power Outage, We’re Taken Care of

Written by: Cheryl Walker


Everyone has to define their own emergency. For some, it may be a severe weather event or a job loss. For others, it may be simply having unexpected dinner guests show up. Ten years ago, I would never have given one thought to keeping extra food on hand. After all, this is America; food is available anytime I need it, right?

In September 2008, all of that changed. Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area, wreaking havoc and claiming lives. My parents lost power for several weeks - not a pleasant experience in hot and humid Houston. I remember my mom crying as she watched her deep freezer, full of frozen fruit, defrost and melt across the floor. Like most Americans, they had only a few days of food in their home. Grocery stores, even if they could have gotten to them, were flooded and the food supply contaminated. So they lined up to get two MRE’s and two bottles of water from FEMA.

Two years later, my parents were introduced to Thrive Life, known then as Shelf Reliance. After living through the nightmare that was Ike, Mom felt she had discovered gold and kept after me to try the food. I listened politely but kept putting her off. I just didn’t think we needed it. After all, we didn’t live in an area that suffered from hurricanes and flooding. What emergency could we face that would warrant its use?

Like any parent with children at home, life was incredibly busy.  I spent so much time running back and forth to the grocery store that my youngest son painted a sign for my garden that said, “If I’m not here, try Walmart!” Unfortunately, all of that “fresh” food that I bought at Walmart would only last a few days before spoiling. Then back to the store I would go.  What a waste of time and money! 

Through all of this, my mom kept suggesting I try her newfound food. After a year, I finally conceded because, when it came right down to it, I realized that in any emergency I didn’t want to have to tell my family there was nothing to eat. I tentatively placed my first order – chopped chicken and broccoli – to make a casserole. My family loved the food, and when I saw how much time it saved me I was all in! Every meal I made would be served with the caveat, “This is a Thrive Life meal.” Finally, my husband said, “Quit saying that. It’s just food.” And so it is.

Ten years later, we are still eating clean, healthy Thrive Life food and loving it. I cook with it every day and having my own “home store” has saved me umpteen trips to the local grocery store. The boys are all grown and married with Thrive Life foods in their own homes. The grandkids eat peas over peanut butter, as well as broccoli, asparagus, and green beans right out of the can. I’d call that a win! The biggest blessing by far though has been the peace of mind, knowing I have long-lasting, healthy, clean foods on hand for whatever may arise, especially in these uncertain times.

I never thought I would see empty shelves in this country. When lockdowns with Covid first occurred, my family didn’t have to go into panic mode trying to find groceries. We had Thrive Life.

I saw the blessing of Thrive Life again in February 2021 when the Texas power grid failed during our “Snowpocalypse”. We had no running water or electricity for 7 days. The refrigerator and freezer, just like my mom’s freezer 10 years before, thawed, but thankfully we had our Thrive Life foods. We didn’t have to worry about having food to eat or attempt dangerous driving conditions to find totally empty grocery store shelves.

Today, our stores still have many empty shelves due to supply chain issues, but every day I am thankful I won’t have to tell my family there is nothing to eat. We will Thrive!