Surplus Food Delivery

Soon after its founding, Emmaus House launched a program that allowed area residents to take greater advantage of the federal surplus food program.  Sister Marie (Mimi Bodell) recalled that Muriel Lokey coordinated the program, and that “eventually she had a hundred women going to the warehouse to pick up surplus food and deliver it to the families.”

Grace Stone explained that “the place where you went to pick it up was off any bus line (on purpose we all felt).  They had plenty of boxes, but we had to bring our own boxes or they wouldn’t give us food.”  Staff member Dennis Goldstein recalled, “I went over there to see what it was like.  You’d go over and go through a line, and there’d be conveyor belt there and essentially you’d pick out, I don’t know, eight to ten food bags that were all marked U.S. Department of Agriculture Surplus Food, and get things like flour and peanut butter and whatever there was a surplus of.”  Grace Stone went on, “And the people who handed them out to you were all county prisoners, and the guards sat up on the top of the pile of boxes, with their guns cocked. . . . the guards didn’t really taunt us verbally, but they certainly did in their body language.”

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