The Hoover Pledges

The November 1917 issues of the Skidmore News referred to the new Hoover pledges – an effort by the U.S. Food Administration and its leader, Herbert Hoover, to encourage conservation of food to support the war effort.  In its November 8, 1917 issue, the News said:

The Hoover Pledges

Last week there were circulated Hoover pledges for signatures.  These were passed asking those who do the cooking or superintend it to be saving of food. This was done in order that we may not waste now what we may need later – and if we don’t need it here in America there is dire need of it right now in those countries across the sea which have been devastated by war and where women and children are living on starvation rations.

We are sure that those who refused to sign this pledge did so because they did not know the real reason for which it was asked, and not because there is anyone living here where Providence has smiled on us, who is unwilling to deny himself or herself a little, to keep life in the body of some unfortunate war victim.

Our own folks are now in training for real warfare.  Those in authority say that those boys are going to be fed – even if we who stay at home are cut a little short.  So when it is looked at fairly and squarely if we are not over patriotic it would pay from a selfish standpoint.

In a letter to his folks, Neal Montgomery gave them the menu for the Sunday and Monday dinner and if these boys never fare worse while they are bearing arms for their country both they are and their folks may be well content.

The letter reads:
“I still have my old job and am feeding the boys pretty good food.  Sunday dinner we had roast pork, mashed potatoes, fried parsnips, gravy, coffee, bread and butter, ice cream and cookies and today dinner we had roast beef, dressing, baked potatoes, gravy, vegetable soup, bread and butter and coffee.  If I can keep that up I guess they won’t starve.  Of course they all have mess kits and march around the table where the cook dishes it out to them so they don’t get a chance to waste much.

Am feeling fine and putting on weight.”