100 Years Ago: Food Pledge Cards Issued, Poster Calling for Men to Harvest

The Intelligencer August 8, 1917 (page 5)

“Food Pledge Cards Issued. Ottawa. Adopting the system which has met with such splendid success in Great Britain, and which has been followed by the United States, pledge cards by which it is planned that every Canadian household shall enlist in a vigorous campaign to reduce waste of exportable foods, such as flour and other wheat products, and beef and bacon, have been prepared at the instance of the Food Controller for Canada and will be used in a house-to-house canvass conducted by provincial and local organizations which have been formed in connection with the Food Controller’s work. The first shipment of these cards went out from the Government printing bureau to-day.

The form of pledge is headed by the Canadian Coat of Arms and the words, ‘Food Service Pledge.’ Blank spaces are left at the bottom for the name of the housewife and the address. The number of people in the house is also to be inserted. The pledge itself reads as follows:

‘Realizing the gravity of the food situation and knowing that Great Britain and our Allies look to Canada to help shatter Germany’s threat of starvation. I pledge myself and my household to carry out conscientiously the advice and directions of the Food Controller that requisite foodstuffs may be released for export to the Canadian Divisions, the British forces and people, and the allied armies and nations.’

Cards for Windows. On the other side of the card the householder is requested to hang the pledge in the dining room where the members of the household will be reminded of their obligation daily.

A duplicate card is attached to the original copy by a perforated fold. This duplicate will also be signed by the householder, torn off and returned to the canvasser to be filed at provincial headquarters.

Accompanying the pledge card is a card of the same size to be hung in the front window of each house where the public can see it, and the members of the household may read the imperative reasons for food saving set forth on the back.”

The Intelligencer August 8, 1917 (page 6)

“Help Build the Bulwark Against Famine! Go—help—now. Ontario’s Record Harvest must be garnered. It would be criminal to lose a sheaf of it for want of labour.

Rouse you, Men of Ontario, show Canada—your brothers overseas—the Motherland—her Allies—AND OUR ENEMIES, TOO, that for you, no task is too great—no obstacle insurmountable.

Belleville Men Register at the Mayor’s Office.”