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11.6.10 Hunger March at La Plaza

A large crowd of Communist Party of America members gather at La Plaza to participate in a Hunger March. The protest, organized by the United Front Conference Against Hunger, was designed to make a statement against the fate of the unemployed and poor. One sign reads, "We Demand $4.00 A Day Not $1.60," another reads "Where is the American Standard of Living?" and another reads, "We Demand Milk for Our Babies bay Cities Womens Counsel." According to newspaper sources from the time period, the city leaders were concerned that violence and too much agitation would occur during such demonstrations. Photograph dated November 7, 1933.

Quillen, Harry
1933 November 07

Harry Quillen, Hunger March at La Plaza, October 4, 1933, Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection,

Soup kitchens multiplied during the Great Depression to serve the immense need for food from a hungry and impoverished nation. Both private charities and government agencies established soup kitchens in this period to serve Americans in need. What type of food does this soup kitchen provide? According to this article, who funds the soup kitchen, and how are they able to supply food for those who need it? Who benefits from this soup kitchen? How does this article help provide evidence to answer the question, How did ordinary people respond to the Great Depression?"

Soup kitchens have been a part of US society since the late nineteenth century, largely in urban areas and run by charitable organizations. Soup kitchens expanded during the Depression, primarily serving soup and bread. Both private charities and government agencies established soup kitchens in this period to serve Americans in need. Throughout the early years of the Depression, when American political and business leaders imagined this as a short-term crisis, local charity groups at first worked to respond to the emergency by opening up centers like this. However, as the crisis dragged on and people experienced longer-term deprivation and hunger, charitable groups struggled to continue to support a malnourished population. This source highlights the ways that children were involved as both the donors to the soup kitchen and the recipients of the charity. Teachers may want to highlight the connection to Source 6 to consider whether these charitable undertakings might have developed greater feelings of community among children.

"We Demand $4.00 A Day Not $1.60"; "Where Is The American Standard of Living?"; "We Demand Milk For Our Babies, Bay Cities Womens Counsel."; "We March Against Hunger."; "Soup Kitchens For Workers-Millions For Grafters."; "