JULY 10, 1942
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Yesterday morning, after the girls had had their horseback ride, all of us went down to Poughkeepsie together. Groceries had to be bought, and everyone had some absolutely necessary thing that they had to acquire. I had a meeting with the school lunch committee, set up under the auspices of the Farm Bureau and with the help of the Home Economics Extension Agent. I was left at the post office and spent a most interesting hour. I found my little girls examining the murals in the post office when I came out to look for the car.
These murals are really very interesting and I often wonder if people driving through Poughkeepsie stop to look at them. In nearly all our post office murals there are portraits of historic people which add enormously to the interest of the pictures.
In the discussion of our county school lunch program, several points came up for consideration. First, no one knows what surplus commodities, if any, will be available next year and many of these programs have been run on surplus commodities.
Secondly, the Parent-Teacher Association, which nationally voted to make the school lunch program their main interest this coming year, has in some smaller localities in the county decided to disband for the year, because of the difficulty of getting about without gas. I hope these groups can be induced to revive rapidly, for I think this is a time when the Parent-Teacher groups should be more active than they have been in the past. There is more to be done and there must be ways found to do it.
Lastly, I was told that it would be extremely difficult to make people believe that school lunches had anything to do with war work. This last point is the main reason why I wanted to write about this meeting. I am quite sure that if some people feel this way here, there are many, many others who feel the same way in other places. It becomes not a local feeling, but a national feeling which may have a very serious effect on work which needs to be done and which is important to the boys who are actually fighting.
These boys are fighting to win a war, and they are looking forward to a world in the future, which will be the kind of a world for which they were willing to fight. Unless we at home carry on our job, there will not be the citizens in the future ready to carry on the work which is needed in the new kind of world we are trying to build. In tomorrow's column I shall try to explain why school lunches have a bearing in this new world, and why the participation of women in this type of work seems to me a contribution to the war.