A Good Lunch
In addition to jobs programs, public works projects, and cultural promotion, the U.S. government’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) offered first-of-their-kind grants and support for local school lunch programs. The WPA piloted “school lunch units,” offering funding to school districts to hire bakers, cooks, and “lunch ladies” to staff and/or expand on-site cafeterias. Before it ended in 1943, the WPA’s school lunch program employed 5,000 people to operate kitchens and cafeterias in 35,000 schools nationwide, feeding 350,000 kids per day.
Susan Levine, School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008): 44.
Galleries & Exhibits
- 11865-1925: Hunger in the Industrial City
- 21929-1940: America in Crisis and Recovery
- 31945-1965: WWII and the Paradoxes of the Postwar Era
- 41955-1980: The Fight for the Right to Food
- 51975-1996: The Unmaking of the Great Society
- 61997-Present: How It Is — And How It Should Be