August 18, 2011
Food in the CCC
Napoleon has been credited with the saying, "An army marches on its stomach."
When it came to feeding the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps, this saying was
taken very seriously. Food was an important part of CCC camp life. Many of the
enrollees came from homes where food was scarce, and they expended plenty of
calories working on their CCC conservation projects.
It was the U.S. Army who was responsible for feeding the enrollees. Army personnel trained
the cooks and bakers, developed menus and recipes, and bought the food.
Cooks and bakers attended U.S. Army training schools and/or were trained on the
job. They were paid $45/month, quite a bit more than the $30 other enrollees
Menus were developed each day, approved by the camp commander, and sent to
CCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. For special celebrations, such as Christmas,
the enrollees were fed special meals.
Here's a sample menu from 1941 at Camp SCS-26-A, Patagonia, AZ
- Stewed fruits
- Dry Cereal
- Pork sausage
- Gravy & Biscuits
- Fried Potatoes
Dinner (in field)
Meat spread sandwich
Boiled beef and dumplings
Buns & butter
Food came from local markets and from CCC district quartermasters.The food
allowance ranged from 40 to 45 cents/day per enrollee through the history of the
Here's a recording of the perishable food consumed at Camp SCS-26-A, Patagonia,
AZ, in 1941. The camp had about 200 enrollees.
- Fresh Beef: 1,402 lbs.
- Bread: 2,350 slices
- Potatoes: 4,000
- Ice Cream: 30 gallons
- Butter: 320 lbs.
- Cheese: 389 lbs.
- Eggs: 480 dozen
- Milk: 5,033 quarts
- Frankfurters: 302
Lots of fats and meats in the CCC enrollee's diet, which provided fuel for their
demanding physical labor.