Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Friday, February 7, 2020

More Rationing During World War Two


Earlier, we wrote of the rationing programs effecting Sherburne County during World War Two.  Following up on the discussion, we want to shift gears away from rationing of farm necessities and scrap metal to explore the food rationing programs. 

Although the advertisement emphasizes
the scrap drives, the theme of rationing for
the war effort served as a universal message 
Although the scrap drives and farm implement rationing remained significant in Sherburne County, sugar and other food rationing gained importance beginning in the spring of 1942.  In February, the Federal Price Administration developed plans for rationing of sugar, coffee, meat, gasoline, and other household necessities.

In Sherburne County, teachers served as the registrants, to record the size and food requirements of each family in the county.  The teachers worked late nights to document members of each family and issue ration books for food and gasoline.  In the case of sugar, the teachers authorized 12 ounces per week for each person in a family.  However, a surplus of more than two pounds in the household signaled an excess and the ration might be reduced. 

Coinciding with the ration program, local newspapers carried out a campaign to pressure individuals to accept the ration programs.  “If You Fail Some Boy Will Die,” the newspaper advertising screamed.  Headlines denounced the “slackers” and pressure continued to urge the county residents to abide by the campaign. 

Although the emphasis remained on metal and scrap drives, in Sherburne County food rationing and other household necessities became equally important considerations to the war effort expanded in 1942 and 1943.