Updated: Jan 28, 2021
In a yellowing memoir inside a Beaufort Woman's Club scrapbook, I found the following words from Vera Stubbs who led the club in its 1932-33 project to serve 16,000 hot lunches to children at Beaufort Graded School during the Great Depression. What an inspiration!
“I thought if we could secure 18 regular teams of five women each, a captain and four assistants who could serve for a week, then at the end of the half-term they could repeat. All summer (1932) I walked the town contacting so many of our women other than club members. Almost everyone wanted to do something. Women who couldn’t go to the building could cook at home. Others who could not be there in the morning could go later to help with the dishes.
I remember Ruth Taylor had a pressure cooker. How many hams she cooked nobody knows! I remember Alma Potter had been on duty one day, and in preparation for the next day, I found her in her backyard cooking string beans in a lard stand set on bricks over an open fire. To see Julia Arrington seasoning huge containers of soup was a sight to remember. I don’t begin to know how resourceful our women had to be!
On rainy days there would be several hundred lunches served. There was nothing electric – no ice-box of any kind. There were no dishwashing machines. When the dinner was served, the labor was only half over. The women spent the afternoons washing dishes. Never will I forget…Bessie O’Bryan standing by one of those deep sinks with her arms in suds up to her elbows washing dish after dish, glass after glass...
Those children who were underprivileged were served the same dinners without cost to them. Through some plan with the teachers, tickets were issued to children, both paid and free, in such a way that the children knew no difference. Rural children could exchange produce, canned foods and milk for meal tickets. The dinners were not mere lunches, but generous, well-prepared, balanced meals."
I found this photo of Mrs. Stubbs on Findagrave.com. Vera Hill Stubbs is buried in Ocean View Cemetery in Beaufort. She was born in 1896 and died in 1981. Does anyone know her family?