June, 1943 – FDR & Eleanor’s Food Conference

Dorman Smith, Lynchburg News

In late May and early June of 1943, well before the Allies were assured of victory in the war, President Roosevelt invited representatives of the allied nations to meet in Hot Springs, VA to discuss post-war plans for feeding a war-ravaged world and meeting long-term food shortages.

It was called the United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture although it was held well before the founding of the U.N.

Unknown cartoonist. Note how FDR is depicted as walking when, in fact, he was wheel-chair bound.

While largely forgotten today, the Conference is still regarded by those working in famine relief as a cornerstone in developing international food sharing policies that are still in place.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended the conference and wrote this about it in her diary: “We received the delegates to the Food Conference on the lawn yesterday afternoon after the President had talked to them in the East Room. It was very inspiring that they held such a harmonious conference. I was disappointed that there were not more women taking part, because I think women have such a vital interest in the canvassing of these subjects which are preliminaries to peace and which touch the home, where every woman’s interest centers.”

Halliday, Providence Star

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