Friday, September 19, 2014

The Story of School Lunch: Competitive Foods in the Cafeteria

Over the past two summers Russell Library interns Ashton Ellett and Kaylynn Washnock assisted in curating the new exhibit, “Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch” opening September 26th in the Russell Library’s Harrison Feature Gallery. The exhibit examines the complicated past of the National School Lunch Program, from feeding malnourished children and putting excess commodities to good use, to the more recent debates over childhood obesity and nutrition in America. This post is one in a series where Ashton and Kaylynn provide a preview of key documents featured in the exhibition.   

Changes during the 1960s and 1970s resulted in a greatly expanded, more expensive school lunch program. School districts had to manage providing meals to more children, purchasing increasingly expensive food, hiring additional food service personnel, and expanding cafeteria facilities. As schools looked for ways to fund their growing programs in a deflated economy they turned increasingly to private partners.

During the Nixon administration, the passage of HR 14896 extended the provision for free breakfast and summer food programs. Another provision, however, that allowed for the “sale of competitive foods” in schools caused great controversy. While the sale of these fatty and high-sugar items would surely increase revenue, many citizens feared these items could negate the program’s original purpose—to provide American school children with access to a nutritious meal. According to Dr. John Perryman, executive director of the American School Food Service Association in Washington, D.C.:

Letter from Dr. John Perryman to Congressman
John W. Davis (Ga.) September 15, 1972
.

John W. Davis Papers, Russell Library.
"We have now opened the door to the sale of ANY food item to ANY child of ANY age in ANY school location at ANY time. We have further made the proceeds available to virtually ANY group, thereby assuring that never ending pressures will be brought upon school authorities to permit constant revenue-producing promotions. By the few words of Section 7 we have translated in a tragic number of instances, school food service from a child nutrition program into a money making gimmick."

Ultimately, the provision passed and competitive foods were allowed in the  nation’s schools. Debates over the lingering effects would continue for the next two decades as awareness of childhood obesity increased.

Want to find out more about School Lunch? Visit Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch on display in the Harrison Feature Gallery in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. from September 26, 2014 through May 15, 2015. The Russell Library gallery is free and open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. For more information, email russlib@uga.edu or call 706-542-5788

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Athens Science Café to Spotlight Nutrition and Childhood Obesity


ATHENS, GA – University of Georgia foods and nutrition professor Caree Cotwright will speak about nutrition and childhood obesity at the October meeting of the Athens Science Café on Oct. 22 at Chase Street Elementary School. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the event will start at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Science cafes are informal meetings commonly held in coffee shops, pubs or community centers where people have an opportunity to learn from and interact with a scientist. Unlike traditional lectures, science cafes involve more open discussion and debate among the audience.

For this event, organizers of the Athens Science Café decided to branch out from their traditional downtown venues. “While we typically hold our cafes at bars and coffeehouses, we welcome the occasional opportunity to develop community partnerships," said ASC representative Stephanie Pearl. “ASC is excited about partnering with the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and the Clarke County School District for this edition of the cafe.”

On Sep. 26 the Russell Library, a political archives at the University of Georgia, will open the new exhibition, “Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch” examining the complicated history of the National School Lunch Program. “We approached the organizers of Athens Science Café about developing an event connected to the issues explored in this exhibit,” said lead curator Jan Levinson. “It seemed only fitting that a discussion about childhood nutrition should take place in one of our local schools.”

The event will take place in the cafeteria of Chase Street Elementary School. Cotwright will give a short introductory talk before leading an informal discussion among participants about nutrition and innovative interventions to combat the problem of childhood obesity. Healthy snacks will be generously provided by Heirloom Café and Fresh Market.

For more information about this event visit the Athens Science Café website at http://athenssciencecafe.wordpress.com or follow @AthScieCafe on Twitter. For more information about the new exhibit “Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch” visit the Russell Library’s website at http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell or follow @RussellLibrary on Twitter.




Monday, September 15, 2014

Russell Library to Open New Exhibit, Food, Power, Politics: The Story of School Lunch

The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia will feature the exhibition, “Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch” Sep. 26, 2014 to May 15, 2015. The exhibition examines the complicated past of the National School Lunch Program, signed into law by President Harry Truman on June 4, 1946.

With a focus on people and events in Georgia, the exhibition was developed in celebration of the Russell Library’s 40th anniversary in 2014. U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell, Jr. authored the original legislation establishing the NSLP and played a crucial role in steering it through both houses of Congress. Russell said that the creation of this program was his proudest legislative achievement during his long career in the U.S. Senate.

School lunchroom in Georgia, ca. 1955.
Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Russell Library
What began as a way to strengthen the nation through better nutrition for school children soon became a complicated program administered by local, state, and federal partners with competing interests. “The story behind this initiative is one of twists and turns, as the program evolved to meet the changing needs of children, politicians, and corporate interests over time,” said lead curator Jan Levinson. A bigger and broader program more than 60 years after its original passage, the National School Lunch Program continues to be a political hot-button today.

In addition to Russell, U.S. Sen. Herman Talmadge, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs (1968-1979), also played a key role in school lunch. Talmadge’s support of the Childhood Nutrition Act (1966) and subsequent amendments greatly expanded the NSLP, including the creation of the school breakfast program.

The exhibit script was assembled by two PhD students in the University of Georgia’s Department of History: Ashton Ellet and Kaylynn Washnock. Both served as summer interns, conducting research, writing, and editing, as well as selecting original documents and artifacts for display. “We were lucky to have two very talented historians working on this project, and I think the finished product shows their commitment and talent for public history,” said Levinson.

The exhibit features historic images depicting schools and children in Georgia dating back to the 1920s as well as related ephemera, including lunch pails, sample menus, and classroom activity packets.  Letters, speeches, and assorted publications document the legislative battle to create and expand the program from the 1940s to the 1990s, complemented by video and oral histories.
The Russell Library is collaborating with UGA’s Athens Science Café and the Clarke County School District to sponsor an event focused on childhood nutrition featuring speaker Dr. Caree Cotwright, associate professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, taking place on Oct. 22 at Chase Street Elementary School. Other events complementing the exhibit are scheduled for spring 2015.

The exhibit is free and open to the public through May 15, 2015. More information about the complementary program series can be found by visiting http://www.libs.uga.edu/russell/programs/events.html. The galleries of the Special Collections Libraries are open from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday and 1-5pm on Saturdays. The building is not open on the Saturdays of home football games. Admission is free. For more information contact Jan Levinson at jlevinso@uga.edu or by calling 706-542-5788. To schedule a tour of the Special Collections Libraries Galleries, contact Jean Cleveland at jclevela@uga.edu or by calling 706-542-8079.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Story of School Lunch: Increased Participation in the 1950s

Over the past two summers Russell Library interns Ashton Ellett and Kaylynn Washnock assisted in curating the new exhibit, “Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch” opening September 26th in the Russell Library’s Harrison Feature Gallery. The exhibit examines the complicated past of the National School Lunch Program, from feeding malnourished children and putting excess commodities to good use, to the more recent debates over childhood obesity and nutrition in America. This post is one in a series where Ashton and Kaylynn provide a preview of key documents featured in the exhibition.   

Chart showing participation of Georgia schools in
NSLP from 1943-1960. Richard B. Russell Collection, Russell Library.
With participation in the school lunch program growing during the 1950s, local administrators felt constant financial pressure. During the 1943-1944 school year just over 1,000 Georgia schools took part; by 1960, this number of participating schools had increased to nearly 1,800. These Georgia schools served an average of 500,000 meals per day -- 9 million meals per month. Despite this growth, the funding for the program was based on the decade old data.

On December 28, 1960 Claude Purcell, state superintendent of schools, wrote to Senator Russell about proposed amendment HR 12896.  Given the National School Lunch Program’s success in Georgia, Purcell was especially concerned with the government’s reimbursement rate for school lunches. He hoped to see the reimbursement rate increase from 3.6 cents to 5 cents per meal, so that the price of the meal for paying students would not have to be raised, fearing any increase would force more students into the free or reduced lunch. As Senator Russell noted in his response, Congress did not pass the amendment. (See letter exchange below).




Several amendments to the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) in 1962 sought to improve the under representation of low-income participants in the program. However, Congress did not appropriate additional funding to make these reforms a reality until the passage of the Childhood Nutrition Act (CNA) in 1966, which expanded institutional eligibility and enacted a pilot breakfast program. The consequences of making good on the mandate would steer the program into uncharted territory in the following decades as school lunch transformed from a farm subsidy into an antipoverty program.

Want to find out more about School Lunch? Visit Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch on display in the Harrison Feature Gallery in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries from September 26, 2014 through May 15, 2015. The Russell Library gallery is free and open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. For more information, email russlib@uga.edu or call 706-542-5788.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Homer Wilson on Changes/Constants on Hot Corner


This post was written by Russell Library summer intern Alexander Stephens, an M.A. student in UGA's Department of History. Alex spent time indexing oral histories using software developed by the University of Kentucky's Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. With the help of their Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS)audiovisual content can be indexed with headings and tags. By labeling content with related tags and breaking full interviews into smaller sections, OHMS allows researchers to discover specific stories within larger themes.

In addition to his other work for the Library's Oral History and Media Unit, Alex served as an interviewer for the Athens Oral History Project. Here, he reflects on his conversation with Homer Wilson for AOHP. To hear the full interview, use the links below to visit the OHMS site or Russell Library SoundCloud page

Athenians like to talk about our town being “different” from the rest of the state. A lot of us speak reverently about the unique character of this place. It’s not just different from the rest of Georgia--“it’s just different.”

But when I moved home to Athens after seven years away, I saw what looked to be a familiar pattern. For over half a century, the intersection of Hull Street and Washington Street was a thriving business, arts, and entertainment district owned, operated, and populated by black entrepreneurs and patrons. The area became known as Hot Corner. The Corner still attracts a bustling crowd on weekend nights, but now the scene is dominated by a mostly young and predominantly white crowd. I am generalizing, of course, about a pocket of downtown frequented by people representing a range of identities and communities. My description is probably consistent, however, with what passersby often see. After several years working with a North Carolina community facing rapid gentrification, I assumed I was witnessing the symptoms of a similar trend. I wanted to talk with someone who had seen Hot Corner change over time, and when I had the opportunity to conduct oral history interviews with the Richard B. Russell Library, I knew exactly where I wanted to start.

Walking into Wilson’s Styling Shop feels like walking into a family living room. Whether in for a haircut or not, people come together here to share information and renew friendships. According to Homer Wilson, who succeeded his father as the shop’s owner, it’s always been this way. There are decades-old relationships rooted here. This extraordinary continuity was my first clue to check the assumptions I made about what is happening on Hot Corner. It is true that the area has changed. Brown’s Barber Shop, two doors over from Wilson’s, is the only other business still operated by the same family who ran it when Wilson’s father began running his shop over fifty years ago. Surrounding these historic businesses are bars and restaurants that cater to people representative of the vanguard of gentrification in many urban settings around the country: a relatively young, relatively white crowd of artists, students, and service industry folks. While I fall firmly within no fewer than four of these categories, I saw these changes as net losses. I saw them as indications of displacement, evidence of the erasure of a history. In his gentle and good-natured way, Homer Wilson let me know that I was wrong.

Hear for yourself, by listening to the interview from Clip from 49:30-52:15 on our SoundCloud page (below) or by clicking HERE to visit OHMS



While the makeup of today’s Hot Corner strays from tradition, the spirit here--and the history undergirding it--is far from gone. It was easy for me to look at Hot Corner from the outside and lament a perceived loss. When I talked with Wilson, however, the picture became vastly more complex. To suggest that the significance of Hot Corner could simply be erased is to underestimate the power imbued in its people and its businesses and its barstools. It probably doesn't hurt that the Wilsons maintain ownership of the space they lease to The World Famous or that the Wade family still owns the Manhattan Cafe building. Across the street, the Morton Theater testifies to the vision, business acumen, and artistic clout of black Athenians from the early 20th century to the present. But equally important, as Wilson puts it, there is an enduring “vibe” on Hot Corner. The buzz of clippers from the Corner barber shops has left permanent aural imprints on the brick walls. The footsteps of the teenagers who led the local civil rights movement in the 1960s have etched courage into the pavement. Now, as Wilson sees it, “the spirit” has found its way into neighbors such as Joey Tatum, who has run the Manhattan Cafe for twenty years and Little Kings Shuffle Club for ten. Newcomers have made their own contributions. DJ Mahogany, for example, has spent the past decade at Little Kings supplementing the bass line beneath Hot Corner’s history.

None of this is to suggest that all change is welcome. There are people in Athens, and undoubtedly on Hot Corner, who would be justified in feeling that new trends and new arrivals are encroaching on the communities they have created in the face of discrimination and hardship. It’s important to be aware of the backstory beneath our feet in order to honor the aspirations of the people who laid the foundations on which we stand. It is for this reason that the Wilsons, the Browns, and others with historical ties to the business district founded the Hot Corner Association in 2000. Their aim is to ensure that people learn the history of this place. The Association also works to encourage minority entrepreneurship in downtown Athens, because the descendents of the people who turned Hot Corner into a regional center for black culture and commerce know the value of working for themselves and serving their community.

As painful as it can be, change is in the nature of cities. Wilson understands this fickleness. He watched as other shops moved to bigger spaces on major thoroughfares, creeping outward to malls and planned shopping centers. Heeding his father’s advice to stay downtown, he is now watching business owners eagerly seek out more central locations. Wilson seems unphased by these shifts. Perhaps this is because he knows that on Hot Corner, the spirit is strong enough to shape whatever form change takes.


Monday, September 08, 2014

The Power of Voice: Dean Rusk on the Atomic Bomb

In the spring of 2014, Russell Library student assistant Chelsea Harvey began indexing oral histories using software developed by the University of Kentucky's Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. With the help of their Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), Chelsea began listening to the personal tapes of former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and organizing audiovisual content by indexing headings and tags. By labeling content with related tags and breaking full interviews into smaller sections, OHMS allows researchers to discover specific stories within larger themes.

In the fall of 1984, former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk sat down with his son Richard and began recording the stories that had shaped his life and his political career. For the next five years, both father and son would together record over 170 tapes of interviews.

In these tapes, Rusk recalls growing up on a farm in Cherokee County, serving as part of the India Burma China Theater in World War I, and making some of the decisions as Secretary of State that would ultimately guide America into the era of the Vietnam War.

In an interview recorded some time in 1985, Rusk discusses the history of the Rockefeller Foundation, an organization for which he served as president from 1952 to 1960. Rusk explains that during the 1930s, the Foundation funded a number of private research projects concerning nuclear physics and other sciences, including a "cyclotron" at the University of Berkeley that would later be used to create the world's first atomic bomb.


DEAN RUSK: "… among other things we had put some money into the cyclotron at Berkeley. Then along about 1941, the Foundation was called by the director of the laboratory at Berkeley and told that they needed something like a quarter of a million dollars urgently and that they could not tell us why. And the then-trustees of the Foundation decided to go ahead and give them that money. They were somewhat abashed a little bit later, after the war, to discover that what they had done had been an integral part of launching the Manhattan Project."

Rusk goes on to say that many of the projects funded by the Rockefeller Foundation during that time concerned research the American government did not have the budget to fund, creating a tension between the needs of government and those of bureaucracies like the Foundation.

Listening to the tape, it becomes difficult to focus on this clip; Rusk slows his speech, often taking pause before stringing together sentences. While the content is both interesting and relevant, its potency is lost in its clumsy delivery.

Compare this with a story told earlier on a tape in January of 1984, remembering the "flash" of news that the atomic bomb deploying in Hiroshima:


DEAN RUSK:  "I was at my desk in the Operations Division of the General Staff and the flash from Hiroshima was the first I heard about it. I remember, when that flash came in an Air Force Colonel sitting at the next desk exclaimed, 'This means that war has turned upon itself and is devouring its own tail. From this time forward it will make no sense for governments to try to settle their disputes by war.' Well, we haven't fully brought that instinctive insight of his into reality but I have always remembered his remark."

The content itself is nothing new: a powerful, white American male reflects on the emotional impact of the first atomic bomb's physical destruction. But something in Rusk's voice, in his reflection, captivates. There is a quality to the audio content that extends beyond that of the transcript; his stoicism is haunting.

In the case of oral history, audio-visual content captures something missing from the same words transcribed on a page.

Friday, September 05, 2014

The Story of School Lunch: Congressional Food Fight

Over the past two summers Russell Library interns Ashton Ellett and Kaylynn Washnock assisted in curating the new exhibit, “Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch” opening September 26th in the Russell Library’s Harrison Feature Gallery. The exhibit examines the complicated past of the National School Lunch Program, from feeding malnourished children and putting excess commodities to good use, to the more recent debates over childhood obesity and nutrition in America. This post is one in a series where Ashton and Kaylynn provide a preview of key documents featured in the exhibition.  

At the end of World War II, proponents of ongoing school lunch programs worried that the federal government’s ad hoc, hand-to-mouth funding scheme discouraged local school districts from participating. Many districts were reluctant to invest scarce funds into capital intensive projects like cafeteria construction and kitchen equipment purchases without guaranteed federal funding.

Letter from M.D. Collins to Richard B. Russell
January 17, 1946.
Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection,
Russell Library. 
Despite a fierce legislative battle over the responsibilities of parents and the role of schools, President Truman signed the National School Lunch Act on June 4, 1946. The passage of the bill was due in large part to the lobbying of a select group of politicians—including Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell. A letter from Dr. Mauney Douglas Collins, State Superintendent of Schools, dated January 17, 1946, to Senator Russell demonstrates the widespread appreciation among education officials in Georgia for his support of the legislation.

A letter from Bob Shields (pages 1-3 below), administrator of the USDA’s Production and Marketing Administration, to Russell in June 1946 stresses the historical importance of the newly passed national school lunch program, which he saw as both a challenge and an opportunity. In his speech before Product and Marketing Administrators, Shields indicated the legislation marked “a new era in farmer-consumer relationship” and reaffirmed the program as “a measure of national security.” During World War II, Major General Lewis B. Hershey, director of the Selective Service System, testified before the House Committee on Agriculture that many young men were rejected for military service because of nutritional deficiencies. With the nation at war and the memory of farmers suffering during the Great Depression at the forefront of many minds, how could the nation’s nutrition and farm problems be solved? The original legislation intended to serve as both a childhood nutrition and surplus commodity program. Since 1946, the U.S. government has been involved in both the “production and marketing” of food because of, according to Shields, the “humanitarian vision and constructive statesmanship.”

    

In spite of lofty goals, the original National School Lunch Act lacked the legislative provisions and enforcement abilities to serve America’s neediest children. Reform and expansion of the program would come later from another war – one inspired by grassroots activism and social movements of the 1960s.  

Want to find out more about School Lunch? Visit Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch on display in the Harrison Feature Gallery of the Special Collections Building from September 26, 2014 through May 15, 2015. The Russell Library gallery is free and open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. For more information, email russlib@uga.edu or call 706-542-5788.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

40th Anniversary Symposium Scheduled Oct. 27-28


What: Russell Library 40th Anniversary Symposium
When: Oct. 27 (evening); Oct. 28 (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) Follow us on Twitter (@RussellLibrary) #Russell40
The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies will host a scholars and policymakers symposium to celebrate the Library’s 40th anniversary year on Oct. 27-28, 2014 in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.
Richard Baker, US Senate Historian Emeritus, will kick off the symposium with a keynote address at 6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27. On Tuesday, Oct. 28 scholars from across the country will participate in panel discussions, highlighting their use of Russell Library collections in recent publications. Policymakers will join these discussions, building on the historical context of the themes presented and adding commentary on the creation of related public policy and its oversight. Panels will be organized around the Russell Library’s six key collecting areas: Politics, Social Relations, Public Good, Environment, Economy, Peace and War. 
The keynote address and symposium sessions are free and open to the public and will be held in the auditorium on the second floor of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. For more information contact Jan Levinson at (706) 542-5788 or jlevinso@uga.edu.
And, stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks as we post updates about our featured speakers! Look for us on Twitter (@RussellLibrary) #RBRL40

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Story of School Lunch: FDR and Surplus Commodities

Over the past two summers Russell Library interns Ashton Ellett and Kaylynn Washnock assisted in curating the new exhibit, “Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch” opening September 26th in the Russell Library’s Harrison Feature Gallery. The exhibit examines the complicated past of the National School Lunch Program, from feeding malnourished children and putting excess commodities to good use, to the more recent debates over childhood obesity and nutrition in America. This post is one in a series where Ashton and Kaylynn provide a preview of key documents featured in the exhibition.   

Amidst the Great Depression, the Roosevelt administration began disbursing donations of surplus commodities through several New Deal agencies, including the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA), the Federal Surplus Commodity Corporation (FSCC), and the Surplus Marketing Administration (SMA). But the onset of World War II in 1941 reshaped federal support for lunch programs. Although Congress began rationing supplies and diverting labor to support the war effort, federal grants offered subsidies to school lunch programs for the purchase of food and milk.

Miscellaneous Publication 467,
produced by the USDA, October 1941.


The USDA Miscellaneous Publication No. 467 demonstrates the effect of war on the program. The lunch program peaked during the 1941-1942 school year with nearly 6 million children served annually.

By March of 1941, most states in the economically depressed South and West had enrolled and worked with the Surplus Marketing Administration to receive foodstuffs. Georgia had the highest average for school enrollment in the nation at 61.7 percent. Ultimately, rising food and labor costs forced cuts in lunch service during the war years, which saw numbers dwindle.

At the close of World War II, school lunch proponents found a new advocate in Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. With his leadership, the still piece-meal initiative would navigate both houses of Congress and become a mandate of federal law. In 1946, Congress passed the National School Lunch Act establishing a nationwide program.

Want to find out more about School Lunch? Visit Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch on display in the Harrison Feature Gallery inside the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries from September 26, 2014 through May 15, 2015. The Russell Library gallery is free and open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. For more information, email russlib@uga.edu or call 706-542-5788.


Friday, August 22, 2014

The Story of School Lunch: Experimentation in the Progressive Era

Over the past two summers Russell Library interns Ashton Ellett and Kaylynn Washnock assisted in curating the new exhibit, “Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch” opening September 26th in the Russell Library’s Harrison Feature Gallery. The exhibit examines the complicated past of the National School Lunch Program, from feeding malnourished children and putting excess commodities to good use, to the more recent debates over childhood obesity and nutrition in America. This post is one in a series where Ashton and Kaylynn provide a preview of key documents featured in the exhibition.   

Front cover, USDA Farmer's Bulletin
No. 712 published in March 1916.
Experimentation with school lunch in the United States began during the Progressive Era (1890-1920). In growing urban centers like New York, Philadelphia, and Boston religious institutions, professional women’s groups, and charities launched the first free milk and lunch programs to combat pervasive childhood malnutrition.

As the USDA Farm Bulletin No. 712 noted, “Growing children have special needs in the way of food.” As the future generation of America, the growth of healthy children was of the utmost importance. The USDA’s sample menu relied on available foods according to season. While the winter menu baked apples, the summer diet offered students a variety of fruits.

Without state or federal aid, the majority of American school children continued without a school-provided lunch. But shortly, a period of financial depression and war would reshape thoughts on the issue.


Want to find out more about School Lunch? Visit Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch on display in the Harrison Feature Gallery inside the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries from September 26, 2014 through May 15, 2015. The Russell Library gallery is free and open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. For more information, email russlib@uga.edu or call 706-542-5788.