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Find Food After SHTF

After a SHTF event, there will be many hungry people. Chances are that the stores have been picked clean, so there is no food or water to be found there. People will soon start starving. Where can you find food after SHTF?

Find Food After SHTF

It’s been a few days and things are still bad. The grocery stores are empty, there’s not a scrap of food to be found there. You and your family need to eat to stay healthy and to survive. Times are getting desperate. What uncommon places can you find food after SHTF?

Vending machines

You’ll find vending machines where most people are forced to wait for things.

  • Factory and office building break rooms
  • lobbies of businesses
  • hotels and motels
  • Waiting rooms at automotive repair shops and oil change shops
  • Gyms
  • Rest areas
  • firehouses and police stations
  • Airports

Cafeterias and Restaurants

Never take food from those who need it. You can only take food from cafeterias, that are no longer actively providing food to people or residents.

  • Schools
  • Retirement Homes
  • Office Parks and large government buildings
  • Jails, prisons, asylums
  • Military bases
  • Resorts and Hotels
  • firehouse kitchens
  • Airport restaraunts
  • Mall food courts (these will probably be long empty)
  • Amusement park restaurants


Every person I know, who works in an office, has some food stashed in their desk drawers or office cabinets.

  • Desks or cabinets at office buildings
  • Locker rooms of gyms or businesses
  • glove compartments or trunks of vehicles
  • “employee only” areas in stores, malls and amusement parks


  • Foraging for fruits, veggies and nuts in parks and forests
  • Foraging for fruits and veggies in yards of abandoned homes (gardens and fruit trees)
  • hunt, trap, snare, fish

Origination points

Food comes from somewhere before it gets to the stores.

  • Regional or local distribution centers – the places that send food to the grocery stores and big box stores. They are like hubs for all the related stores in that area/region
  • Farms – even if the barn and silos have been emptied, check the trucks and walk along the fields looking for produce that fell off the wagons or fell during harvest and transport.


  • Dumpsters (any dumpster, but especially those behind restaurants and grocery stores)
  • Residential and city trash cans
  • Road Kill (Yep, it’s gross, but if it’s fresh and you cook it, you’ll probably be ok)

Ultimately, there will come a time, where there won’t be any packaged food left. It will come down to living off the land. You’ll have to forage, fish, trap and hunt, until you can get a garden growing and crops harvested. This will be the long term plan so make sure to invest in gardening tools, seeds and supplies for fishing, hunting, snaring and trapping.

This is my initial brainstorming list, and I will keep building this and adding information as my research gives me more places to find food. I’ll bet you already thought of a few that I didn’t list! Feel free to comment and tell me about it.

After a SHTF event, the stores will have been picked clean, and there will be no food or water to be found there. People will be starving. You can find food after SHTF!

You may need a Get In or Get Through Kit to get to the stuff that wasn’t easy pickings!


  1. A kid with a bb gun and bb’s. During the Great Depression my grandma gave her only son a box of bb’s and told him to go out and shoot 50 sparrows. There is only one bite (small) of meat on a sparrow but her point was there IS food to be had.


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