30 March, 2012
Rationing During World War II
Rationing is defined as a fixed allowance of provisions of food, especially for soldiers or sailors or for civilians during a shortage (dictionary.com). In 1942 a rationing system began to guarantee minimum amounts of things people needed. During World War II, people couldn’t just walk into a store and buy whatever they wanted. Ration books are books that contained coupons where shopkeepers could cut out the coupon for the person to use. War ration books and tokens were issued to each American family, controlling how much gas, tires, sugar, meat, silk, shoes, nylon and other items any person could buy (Rationing on the US Homefront). The Office of Price Administration (OPA) issued each person in a household to get a ration book, even children and babies. Ration books were organized by color: buff-colored books were mostly for adults, green ration books were for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under the age of five, and blue ration books were for children from ages six to sixteen (Rationing on the US Homefront). On National Registration day, 29 September, 1939, every person in a household had to fill out a form explaining with details about who lived in their house. Ration stamps were only valid for a certain period of time so it would prevent hoarding of the stamps. The government issued ration books because they were worried that when items became scarce that the prices would go up, and poor people couldn’t buy the things they needed (Barrow, 2010).
Rationing made sure that people got an equal amount of food every week. The government tried their hardest to make it fair for everyone. Still, some people thought that rationing was unfair (Barrow, 2010). People were encouraged to provide their own food in their homes thus starting the ‘Dig for Victory!’ campaign. The ‘Dig for Victory!’ campaign was where men and women made their yards and flower-beds into gardens to...