World War 2

Rationing in WWII

Before the Second World War began, Britain imported about 55 million tons of food from many different countries every year.

When war began in September 1939 this importing was stopped because the ships were being bombed by German submarines.

there was a worry that this would lead to a shortage of food supplies in the shops so rationing was introduced in January 1940.
To buy restricted foods, people handed their ration book to the shop keeper. They removed the coupons and took the appropriate amount of money.
People were encouraged to grow their own food.  The ‘dig for victory’ campaign asked every man, woman and child to keep an allotment
Gardens and parks were used to grow vegetables to eat at home.  Children were encouraged to get involved by digging and planting seeds.
Scraps of food were kept to feed to pigs and other animals.  Kitchen waste was kept in big bins and

Butter: 50g (2oz)
Bacon and ham: 100g (4oz)
Margarine: 100g (4oz)
Sugar: 225g (8oz).
Meat: To the value of 1s.2d (one shilling and sixpence per week. That is about 6p today)
Milk: 1800ml (3 pints) occasionally dropping to 1200ml (2 pints).
Cheese: 50g (2oz)
Eggs: 1 fresh egg a week.
Tea: 50g (2oz).
Jam: 450g (1lb) every two months.
Dried eggs 1 packet every four weeks.
Sweets: 350g (12oz) every four weeks

collected to feed the animals.

Clothing rationing began in June 1941.  There was a shortage of cloth to make clothes so people were encouraged to ‘make do and mend’.
To buy new clothes people used coupons as well as money.  Every person had a clothes ration book which allowed them one new outfit a year.
Food rationing lasted for 14 years in Britain.  Following the end of the war in 1945, rationing continued until ending in 1954.

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