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8-cent Menu at Relief Banquet, May 7, 1938

8-cent Menu at Relief Banquet

 

May 7, 1938

 

Served in the Gold Room at the Congress Hotel, Chicago, Illinois

 

8-cent Relief Dinner circa 1938

 (Image by Peter Engler)

 

 

8-cent Menu at Relief Banquet
Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963), May 8, 1938

 

 

 

"Fifty persons sat down yesterday to the cheapest luncheon ever served in the Gold room of the Congress hotel.  Its cost was itemized at 8 cents by the Illinois Workers Alliance of Cook county, which took this way to point to the asserted need for more funds for its members, all on relief.

...

"This portion was figured from the $28.50 budget of the average relief family of four.  It equals 95 cents a day for the whole family.  The alliance pointed out, however, that the 8 cents a meal would run less where rent or other necessities must be met from food money."

 

 

Cost Comparison of 8-cent meal from 1938, 2011 and rate of inflation
    1938 2011* 2011* 2010
   Ounces  Cents  Pound-cost  April 12    Calculated relative to inflation**  
Beef Chuck  3.55 4 $3.99 $0.89 $0.6
Potatoes 5.33 0.66 $0.66 $0.22 $.099
Carrots 2 0.25 $1.29 $0.16 $0.0375
Onions 1.33 0.33 $0.63 $0.05 $0.9495
           
  Ounces Cents Ounce - cost April 12 Calculated relative to inflation**
Coffee 0.25  0.25 $0.439 $0.11 $0.0375
Sugar 0.3 0.1 $0.0467 $0.01 $0.015
Evaporated Milk 1 0.6 $0.099 $0.10 $0.09
           
  Piece Cents Pound-cost April 12 Calculated relative to inflation**
Oleo 1 0.3 $1.09 $0.03 $0.045
Apple 0.5 0.5 $0.69 $0.12 $0.75 (3 apples per pound)
Bread 2 1 $0.80 $0.10 $0.15
           
Total cost:   6.99   $1.79 $1.20
    Cents   Dollars Dollars

 

*Cost of food at Garden Fresh Market in Northbrook, IL.

 

**Annual inflation over this period was 3.83%.

$1.00 in 1938 had the same buying power as $15.00 in 2010.

Calculated dollar values from an inflation calculator at DollarTimes.com.

 

Catherine Lambrecht assembled information and calculations for the table.