Hello, my name is Mr. O'doul. I live in New York City and the Great depression hit me very hard in the 1930's. It is now the year 1949. My told me that if i was to invest in the stock market I could quadruple my savings and have all of my dreams realized. Unfortunately, i took his advice and now I have no savings. Now thanks to him I have no money and cant feed my family. My father and his father were real real providers and could always feed their families. Standing in the Red Cross bread line waiting for government handouts brought great shame on me, like nothing else i had every experienced. I tried to hide my face in order to keep other men, those who did not need help from the government to play their roles as providers of their families.

Men jaming themselves into a soup kitchen

The first soup kitchens and breadlines started opening in the year of 1929. They were started by churches and hospitals. They primarily serve soup and bread. The food was very poor quality.I hated it. In fact many people such as my brother would rather starve to death than stand in a breadline or go to soup kitchen. Ultimately he died of starvation. Many people found it morally degrading to stand in these lines. People just had to get over the fact that we had to stand in them and have someone give us our food to survive.

Serving soup
I am the father of three kids. It was very demoralizing to me that I did not have the money to feed them, but for them to survive I had to wait in breadlines. They were a necessity that I was very grateful for during my time of struggle. If it wasn't for the American Red Cross and the American government my family and I probably would have starved to death, but because of the soup kitchens and breadlines my kids are all fully functioning middle-upper class members of society.

Often times at certain charities, those run by churches in particular, I was asked to listen to a sermon of their religion before they served me any food from them. I was not a fan of listening to Catholic sermons in order to eat but I had little choice and so i did. going against my religion brought even more shame to accepting government handouts in order to do my job of providing for my family.


Breadlines were a charity. The great depression was a time when America needed to join together and help each other. Even Al Capone had a bread line.This was a time of crisis. Breadlines helped me survive and I am grateful for them. Although it took while for Americans to accept the usefulness of the bread lines they became an integral part of our society. The food handed out by food lines saved the lines of countless individuals open minded enough, such as myself, to take help during such a terrible time in our history.