Who gave us powered eggs in 1974?
October 1, 2012 10:47 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to find out more information on a 1970's US food program.

Back in the 70's (1974?) my mom was on a food program. It provided actual food, not food stamps. Stuff like powered milk and eggs, corn syrup, meat in a can, peanut butter, and other things.

I'm curious about this program, I guess I'm not searching properly.
posted by Marky to Law & Government (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Try searching for "government cheese"
posted by buggzzee23 at 10:52 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


For some reason the term "government cheese" came to mind, the Wikipedia page might be a start.
posted by radioamy at 10:53 AM on October 1, 2012


WIC came into existence in 1972. The implementation varied (and still varies) from state to state.
posted by holgate at 10:55 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Probably Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) (although back then I think it was TEFAP, T standing for Temporary) or the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which was a precursor to WIC but still exists. The USDA has a ton of nutrition assistance/emergency feeding programs.

Here's a history of the Food Distribution Programs.
posted by elsietheeel at 11:06 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


It definitely sounds like WIC to me.
posted by KathrynT at 11:51 AM on October 1, 2012


Back in the 70's (1974?) my mom was on a food program. It provided actual food, not food stamps. Stuff like powered milk and eggs, corn syrup, meat in a can, peanut butter, and other things.

All of these are typical WIC items.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:55 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually held a summer job in one of those Government stores. Yes we gave out bags of food staples. Powdered milk, Peanut Butter, Cheese, raisins, oatmeal, etc. Probably part of the USDA CCC program. Commodity Credit Corporation. It had to have been 1974, because I remember the bus driver listening to the Nixon impeachment hearings.
posted by Gungho at 11:55 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


US Department of Agriculture surplus food. The first time I got some was in 1971, cheese, noodles, and I don't remember what all else.
posted by mareli at 12:42 PM on October 1, 2012


I think these were referred to as commodities. When I was a kid, people who lived on the nearest reservation would barter with these foodstuffs. I think they're basically surplus.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:48 PM on October 1, 2012


It was not WIC that I received, although I was a mother with a baby. The non-parent adults in my household were eligible too if they were low-income enough. According to this Food Stamps did not become a nationwide program until 1974. That government cheese was pretty good, it was real cheddar cheese, a five pound chunk.
posted by mareli at 12:52 PM on October 1, 2012


WIC was established in 1972, but the first site didn't open until 1974. And it was only available to pregnant or breastfeeding women, and children under the age of four. Now WIC is a voucher system; I'm not sure if they supplied commodities back then.

How old were you?
posted by elsietheeel at 2:23 PM on October 1, 2012


elsietheeel nails it. You're thinking of the commodities program -- it's still around but is a little different today. I work at a non-profit that operates two food pantries and we distribute commodities. In the Midwest at least the program is still called TEFAP and we distribute CSFP as well, which are basically the same things now.

I'm not sure what the requirements were like in the 1970s but today, there is really no verification. You need to live in my county (though every county runs their own distribution so really you just go to the one in your county) and you need to fall within some financial guidelines, though we trust that if you're willing to stand in line to pick up your bag, you do. We ask, certainly, but we do not verify. Again, not sure what they required in 1970 but likely your mom stood in a line for a bit, filled out two forms that asked for nothing more than an address and a couple checkmarks, and got some supplemental food...
posted by youandiandaflame at 2:46 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's the USDA's Web page on the CSFP. And here's the one on TEFAP (T now stands for The, rather than Temporary).

And no, I don't work at the USDA, but I am a state civil servant working in nutrition.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:09 PM on October 1, 2012


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