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.

World War II (215)
Concentration camps (1245)
Food (234)

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234 items
[Cutting the cake] (ddr-csujad-56-211)
img [Cutting the cake] (ddr-csujad-56-211)
A group of incarcerees watch a woman cut a cake. Page 20 of Kawase Family Photo Album, Book One. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-03-020
[Incarcerees preparing food] (ddr-csujad-56-134)
img [Incarcerees preparing food] (ddr-csujad-56-134)
Photo of three people preparing food with two others standing next to them. A third young man is exiting the scene. Photo provided by Tak Kameoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-001
[Mess hall] (ddr-csujad-56-156)
img [Mess hall] (ddr-csujad-56-156)
Incarcerees eating in the mess hall. Photo provided by Tak Kameoka. See this object in the California State Universities Japanese American Digitization project site: nbea08-02-023
Japanese Americans in front of canteen (ddr-densho-2-38)
img Japanese Americans in front of canteen (ddr-densho-2-38)
Peggie Yorita and her friend, Fumie Hariguchi, stand in front of Canteen 30.
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.
Japanese American preparing meal (ddr-densho-15-70)
img Japanese American preparing meal (ddr-densho-15-70)
Jim Shiga, well-known for his cooking skills, prepares a meal in the camp's warehouse kitchen.
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.
Child waiting for mess hall meal (ddr-densho-37-518)
img Child waiting for mess hall meal (ddr-densho-37-518)
Original WRA caption: Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. It is a long time between meals at the mess hall for a hungry man, so the cracker box at the Kobayashi barracks gets a frequent raiding.
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.
Packing mess hall dishes (ddr-densho-37-620)
img Packing mess hall dishes (ddr-densho-37-620)
Original WRA caption: Closing of the Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas. Dishes from the center's thirty-three mess halls were carefully packed in straw and put in G.I. cans ready for shipment. Angelo Girardo of the Denver Office is shown supervising the work.
Japanese Americans preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-331)
img Japanese Americans preparing lunch (ddr-densho-37-331)
Original WRA caption: Dave K. Yoshida, from Seattle, Washington former Chef for [the] Benjamin Franklin Hotel. Kitchen crew preparing lunch. Menu: Baked macaroni with Spanish sauce, spinach, pickled beets, bread-pudding, tea, bread & butter.
Camp kitchen crew (ddr-densho-37-619)
img Camp kitchen crew (ddr-densho-37-619)
Original WRA caption: Jerome Relocation Center, Denson, Arkansas. The Block 7 kitchen crew pauses for a picture in the early afternoon.
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-156)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-156)
Original WRA caption: The cooked beans are poured into a fine-meshed sack and water is added. Squeezing the sack the fiberous substance is held back and the rest of the precipitate is squeezed into a barrel. Into this strained mash or curd, brine is added to cause it to precipitate. This factory is operated by the …
Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-154)
img Japanese Americans making tofu (ddr-densho-37-154)
Original WRA caption: The paste-like crushed bean mash is cooked thoroughly in the big vat shown in the picture and constantly stirred. This tofu (pronounced To-o-fu) factory is operated by the Tule Lake Co-op.
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.
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