These sad photos show destitute Great Depression families waiting for aid, 1937-1939

In these poignant photographs, FSA photographers Dorothea Lang, Ben Shahan, and Russell Lee capture the intense anxiety and stagnation of poor farm laborers as they wait in line for emergency aids that will feed their families for days.

The Farm Security Administration (FSA), created in 1937 under the Department of Agriculture, helped with rural resettlement, agricultural credit, and subsistence homestead programs.

The FSA was not a relief agency, but instead, it relied on a network of collaborations between state and county offices to determine which customers needed loans that could not get this credit elsewhere. .

Farmers can use these loans to buy land, equipment, livestock or seeds. Additionally, the FSA assists families by providing healthcare, education, and training programs for participating families. These measures were aimed at helping families become self-reliant.

The average American family lived by the Depression-era motto: "Use it, wear it, do or do without." Many tried to maintain appearances and carry on with life as close to normal as possible, while adapting to the new economic conditions.

Families adopted a new level of frugality in daily life. They kept the kitchen gardens, dressed in worn out, and many people were hungry.

The stress of financial stress took a psychological toll – especially on men who were suddenly unable to provide for their families. The national suicide rate reached an all-time high in 1933.

Marriages became strained, although many couples could not separate. Divorce rates decreased during the 1930s, although abandonment increased.

Some moved their families out of embarrassment or desperation: this was sometimes called the "poor man's divorce". It is estimated that over two million men and women are traveling.

Before the Great Depression, most Americans had negative views of government welfare programs and refused to move on to welfare. In some cities, local newspapers published the names of welfare recipients.

While attitudes toward government aid began to change during the Great Depression, going on welfare was still seen as a traumatic and humiliating experience for many families.

1 comment:

  1. The Great Depression was purposefully cause by the "federal" "reserve".


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