Free Milk for France Parade, Washington D.C., 1918
Images via the Library of Congress
Free Milk for France was a response to the agricultural devastation created by World War I. Founded by a small group of New York women, branches were eventually created in 38 states by locally prominent women.
Free Milk for France shipped powdered milk to France where it was distributed by the government and government authorized facilities to children, the elderly, the sick, and nursing/pregnant women. The US government contributed $9,623.87 ($143,363.16 in today’s money) collected in fines from war profiteers.
Sister Gaume, Sister Superior of an orphanage in the Belleville quarter of Paris wrote on receiving the milk:
This precious milk is used for the orphans, for tired or old sisters, for young mothers who nurse their babies, for quite small children, for the tubercular, for the convalescent, for the people who are left destitute by the war and hide their misery… Your splendid gift is thus very much appreciated. It is very useful and we will never forget it.