New Hampshire Women and World War I ‘Food Work’

POSTER: Food Will Win the
War, National Archives and
Records Administration.

Food and meal preparation was a serious matter during World War I and it was mostly women upon whom the burden fell to create solutions. With a great deal of foodstuffs being send to Europe to feed the troops and needy allies, the United States was forced to be economical in order to avert a famine here. In 1917 the United States government created the Woman’s Committee, Council of National Defense, to enlist the aid of women for the “national war relief program.” States were encouraged to create regional organizations on state, county and even city/town levels.

Upon the New Hampshire branch, Woman’s Council of National Defense, fell the task of distributing bulletins and arranging for the meetings at which home demonstration agents provided presentations. The stories of these dedicated women have mostly been lost. In 1918 the following women were appointed to be New Hampshire home economic experts to¬† present lectures and demonstrations on all aspects of food preservation and substitution, household and personal economy, and budget making. The lectures would be offered free of charge, the local woman’s or other club having sponsored the lecture assuming the costs. Continue reading