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Hardcore Prepper Realizes Puerto Rico Needs His Massive Food Stash More Than He Does

Approximately 40 barrels, each containing about 300 pounds of food, are currently on their way to the shores of storm-torn Puerto Rico. The massive haul isn't coming from the government or major corporation, it's coming from a man who spent the last 45 years stockpiling it.

He felt that the food could be put to better use right now.

Joseph Badame and his wife, Phyllis, had been 'preppers', or survivalists, who stockpiled their home with food in case of a national emergency. The two collected food for long-term storage for more than 45 years.

They had been in the Peace Corps until the 1970s and when they returned to South Jersey, there was a lot of unrest and race riots going on. They feared for their safety and started planning for long-term survival in the case of emergency.

Phyllis had a stroke in 2005 that left her paralyzed, and another in 2013 that killed her. Badame says he went broke because he quit his job to stay home and take care of his wife. He was unable to financially recover and started getting eviction notices.

The 74-year-old widower was holding an estate sale and bankers were selling the New Jersey home he shared with his wife. The food was not for sale and he didn't know what he was going to do with it. He thought it might go to waste. Then he met Victoria Barber.

Barber, as it so happened, was looking for food donations for Puerto Rico. The sale was happening just one day after Hurricane Maria ravaged the Caribbean island, leaving millions of people without food, water, power or access to health care.

Barber is from Puerto Rico and much of her family are still on the island. Her dedication to the cause is personal, because her own family members are in great danger due to the natural disaster. Her grandmother was rescued from a roof with floodwaters 10 feet high in her neighborhood.

The woman jumped into action with her husband and started a fund from their food truck for donations. When she came across Mr. Badame's shockingly big stash of preserved food, she knew just what to propose he do with it.

"I'm having trouble putting it into words, but it was just lifesaving for my family," Ms. Barber told The Independent. "There were 70 barrels filled with food when my entire family was completely devastated from the hurricane, and in dire need of help. So, it was, like, this miracle."

After some calculations, they found there's enough food in every barrel to feed 84 people for up to four months. One batch of the food is shipped, and Barber and her husband are trying to raise money for more to be shipped.

Barber says her family and many others were thrilled to get the donation. "I know that [my family] did receive a box. They waited in line for eight hours to receive a box of food, and they were very grateful, you could hear it in their voices," she said. "Happy to have oatmeal. Happy to have cans of Chef Boyardee."

Mr. Badame had been depressed over how his life turned out. Being able to have that food put to good use gave the elderly man a new sense of purpose. “I’m tired, old, depressed, feeling like I’m a failure regarding the survival thing,” he told the Washington Post. Then Barber “came along, gave me a shot of adrenaline. I couldn’t believe it.”

He and his wife's 45 years of prepping were certainly not a failure. It may not have worked the way they expected, but countless lives might be saved due to the precious gift.

Source: Yahoo
Photos: YouTube, Fox 29, ABC 6

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