County Extension is Here to Help
According to the 1918 home demonstration annual report, the agents and volunteers addressed the pandemic in 55 counties. A total of 91 community kitchens were created that each fed an average of 150 people daily, and household kitchens were “ . . . used as soup distributing centers.” It stated, “all the volunteer automobiles necessary were at hand to deliver the nourishment and interested citizens and farmers furnished the money and supplies.” Much of this information was reproduced in the 1918 Extension Service annual report, which went on to say that “practically every agent employed by the Home Demonstration Division was called upon to take part in aiding in the control of this epidemic, either by nursing or by handling diet kitchens, many of them won words of commendation and praise from the State Board of Health and other sources for the efficient service rendered.” A report from the 1930s summarizing on the first 25 years of the Home Demonstration program also contained this quote from the head of the North Carolina State Board of Health: “It was through the organized home demonstration clubs that we were able to systematically care for the sick in the country, and with their trained leaders acting as practical nurses and operating soup kitchens for those in need, we were able to come through the situation with the least amount of loss.” -NC State University Libraries Archives– Special Collections.