Their goal was to stop the wasting of food. Europe was facing a desperate hunger crisis. The more food saved meant the more that could be sent overseas to feed the hungry.
The Citizen’s Food Committee was led by Charles Luckman, the President of Lever Brothers of Massachusetts. Their job was to take the message of no food waste to the American public. Truman said,
It has been estimated that we waste about 10 percent of all the food we buy. Just think of that! We waste 10 percent of all the food we buy. Clearly, by wasting less, American families can help significantly in feeding hungry families abroad.”
The Committee helped to raise awareness about food waste, but also hunger across the globe. In the coming months Americans would donate lots of food overseas through events such as the Friendship Train. Going coast to coast the Train picked up canned goods to be shipped to Europe.
Defeating hunger was essential for building peace after the war. These are timeless lessons that Truman stressed as he sought the recovery of war-torn nations. At the White House meeting Truman emphasized,
Apart from humanitarian considerations, if rations are significantly cut this winter, economic rehabilitation will come to a stop. This, in turn, would increase the degree and duration of dependence by other nations on special assistance by the United States. Most important, if we turn our backs upon these people they will turn from hunger to despair and from despair to chaos in areas where stability is essential to the peace and economic security of the world.”
Food served as the foundation of the 1948 Marshall Plan, which ultimately rebuilt Europe. We need to remember these lessons today. Food can lead to peace and economic development. As war has engulfed the Middle East and Africa there are millions of refugees who are depending on international food aid.
Back here at home we can fight hunger more effectively by wasting less food. Schools and food banks have developed recovery programs to cut down on this waste. There are ways we can more effectively fight hunger, as Truman prioritized on this day in history.
Read the article at Examiner.