A survivalist and prepper who spent his entire life stocking food and supplies in case the world came to face a cataclysmic scenario was recently so moved by the crisis in Puerto Rico that he donated all of his food to the people there.
Joseph Badame, 74, of Medford, New Jersey, spent decades collecting and stocking supplies. Recently, though, he fell on hard times. After his wife, Phyliss, died, his massive home went into foreclosure.
But everything changed when he met a couple raising money to help Puerto Ricans deal with the deadly fallout from Hurricane Maria, The Associated Press reported.
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Bedame met Victoria and Anthony Barber during an estate sale that was held for his belongings, as the Barbers run a food truck and were brought in to help feed those in attendance.
At some point during their interactions, Badame learned that Victoria’s family in Puerto Rico was suffering and without food, so he gave the couple $100 — and then shocked them entirely when he led them to his food stockpile.
Then, Badame, who had spent eons preparing himself for a potential economic crisis or war, did something incredible: he donated all 80 barrels of food in his basement to the Barbers so that the food could be given to Puerto Rico.
Victoria Barner, who was stunned by the 80 barrels that each weighed 360 pounds, said that there “was enough to feed a town,” with rice, sugar, flour, dried beans, seeds and other un-spoilable food, as The Washington Post reported.
According to NJ.com, each barrel has enough food for 84 people to survive for up to four months.
Badame said he simply couldn’t stand by watching people suffer, which is why he decided to donate the barrels.
“Those people are starving and they have nothing,” he told the Post. “I just can’t sit by.”
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In the end, he said that, while he and his wife had prepared the food for their own friends and family in the event of an emergency, it ended up serving an entirely different purpose.
“Phyliss and I prepared all this for one group of people and it turns out it’s going to help another group of people,” he said. “That’s wonderful.”
Bedame also made it a point to reject the “doomsday” label many have given him and to, instead, say that he and his wife were merely just preparing for a potential time when food and supplies would be needed.
The Barbers have already sent some of the food to Puerto Rico after raising funds to pay for transportation costs. According to the Post, Bedame now lives in a trailer on their front lawn and will later move the portable home to another location once the food has been fully removed from his former home.