Food

The eating facilities in the camps were large mess halls with long lines and crowded tables. Group living tended to erode family solidarity, as teenagers escaped parental authority by eating with friends rather than family. The quality of the food was poor and milk and fresh meat were constantly in short supply. Inexpensive foods such as wieners, dried fish, pancakes, macaroni and pickled vegetables were served often. The diets of the camp inmates improved only after they began growing some of their own food.

Food (113)

113 items
Visitor's receipt for meals (ddr-densho-25-110)
doc Visitor's receipt for meals (ddr-densho-25-110)
In 1943, Mitsuo Iseri was on leave from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He visited Minidoka, and received this receipt for meals.
Mess hall food (ddr-densho-37-413)
img Mess hall food (ddr-densho-37-413)
Original WRA caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Meals are being served cafeteria style at this War Relocation Authority Center.
Japanese American preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-330)
img Japanese American preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-330)
Original WRA caption: Dave K. Yoshida, from Seattle, Washington former Chef for Benjamin Franklin Hotel. Kitchen crew preparing lunch. Menu: Baked macaroni with Spanish sauce, spinach, pickled beets, bread-pudding, tea, bread & butter.
Meal in a mess hall (ddr-densho-37-525)
img Meal in a mess hall (ddr-densho-37-525)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. A group of residents loll over their evening meal.
The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 32 (August 10, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-80)
doc The Newell Star, Vol. II, No. 32 (August 10, 1945) (ddr-densho-284-80)
Selected article titles: "Meningitis Case: Great Effort Made to Save Tule Baby" (pp. 1-2), "July: Harvest Yields 372,580 Pounds of Vegetables" (p. 2), "Resettlers May Obtain Materials" (p. 2), and "Allowances for GI's Dependents" (p. 4).
The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 7 (April 20, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-12)
doc The Newell Star, Vol. I, No. 7 (April 20, 1944) (ddr-densho-284-12)
Selected article titles: "82 in Center Receive Notices to Report for Physical Exams: Base Hospital to Be Utilized" (p. 1), "More Arrivals Expected as Segregation Plan Resumed" (p. 1), and "Red Cross Gifts Distributed to CA and Japanese Library" (p. 2).
Co-Op News, Vol I. No. 9 (July 29, 1943) (ddr-densho-288-7)
doc Co-Op News, Vol I. No. 9 (July 29, 1943) (ddr-densho-288-7)
Selected article titles: "Election Results: Five New Directors Chosen; Ito, Yoda, Oida Re-elected" (p. 1), "New Faces Seen at Canteen, Office; Circulation Head Named" (p. 1), "Sanitation Prevents Sale of Fresh Fish - Mangement" (p. 1).
Letter to Molly Wilson from Tomoko Ikeda (June 10, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-1)
doc Letter to Molly Wilson from Tomoko Ikeda (June 10, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-1)
Handwritten letter written by Tomoko Ikeda to Molly Wilson, June 10, 1942. Letter was written from an assembly center or a relocation center, and mentions adjusting to food in center and missing school.
Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-94)
doc Letter (with envelope) to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942) (ddr-janm-1-94)
Handwritten letter to Molly Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (June 8, 1942). Envelope is postmarked June 11, 1942 and addressed from Lillian Nishioka from the Poston (Colorado River) Incarceration Camp in Parker, Arizona.
Letter to Mollie Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (c. 1942) (ddr-janm-1-95)
doc Letter to Mollie Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (c. 1942) (ddr-janm-1-95)
Handwritten letter to Mollie Wilson from Sadae (Lillian) Nishioka (c. 1942) from the Poston (Colorado River) Incarceration Camp in Parker, Arizona.
Mealtime in mess hall (ddr-densho-151-432)
img Mealtime in mess hall (ddr-densho-151-432)
Original caption: Manzanar Relocation Center, Manzanar, California. Mealtime in one of the messhalls at this War Relocation Authority center for evacuees of Japanese ancestry.
Victory garden (ddr-densho-242-21)
img Victory garden (ddr-densho-242-21)
Caption on front: "The V.G. sponsored by me in 1943. This picture taken in 1944, August."
Camp meal ticket (ddr-densho-13-25)
doc Camp meal ticket (ddr-densho-13-25)
This meal ticket was required when a camp inmate wanted to eat outside his or her designated mess hall.
Mess hall interior (ddr-densho-37-804)
img Mess hall interior (ddr-densho-37-804)
Original WRA caption: Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas. The interior of the mess hall in Block 7 in the early afternoon.
Japanese American cooking (ddr-densho-37-593)
img Japanese American cooking (ddr-densho-37-593)
Original WRA caption: Gila River Relocation Center, Rivers, Arizona. Student Mary Sakai, former resident of Stockton, California, is shown putting sliced carrots in a double boiler in preparation for the drying process.
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-155)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-155)
Original WRA caption: The precipitate is put into forms and pressed. Later it is cut into smaller cakes and kept in water as shown. Tofu is a kind of "bean curd" considered essential to the Japanese diet. Other pictures in this group show the various processes in the manufacture of this product. To preserve it is ...
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-153)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-153)
Original WRA caption: Note: The markings on the blackboard, upper right, show the Japanese way of counting in fives to show number of buckets of beans processed. The bucket on the lower right contains soy beans which are soaked over night and then poured into this centrifugal "masher" which revolves at comparatively high speed. The white ...
Child eating in mess hall (ddr-densho-39-18)
img Child eating in mess hall (ddr-densho-39-18)
Original museum description: Photograph, black and white glossy of a little boy (girl?) ready to bite into a morsel of food at the Minidoka internment camp. There is a plate with two huge sausages and a roll. A coffee cup full of coffee and other plates and another coffee cup are in view. Windows have curtains ...
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