United States Department of Agriculture WW2 era 'Food Stamps' issues

We all have and handle these from time to time. "Back of book", Revenues, "Cinderellas", duty stamps and all kinds of other stamp like labels. Discuss them all HERE!

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pikonen
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United States Department of Agriculture WW2 era 'Food Stamps' issues

Post by pikonen »

I can't find any information in the Scott Catalog about these stamps. Any information?

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Re: United States Department of Agriculture Food Stamps

Post by Global Admin »

Nice.

Are these the precursors to the still current "food stamp" program?
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pikonen
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Re: United States Department of Agriculture Food Stamps

Post by pikonen »

That's what I took it as but I'm not sure, I'd like to hear if anyone knows the answer!
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Re: United States Department of Agriculture Food Stamps

Post by Brummie »

In May 1939, USDA initiated an experimental Food Stamp Program that lasted until 1943. Food retailers favoured the program because of the extra business they hoped it would create. Recipients and relief advocating the program believed the program would help provide the poor with a steadier flow of food and a more varied and nutritious diet.

Before the program, commodity distributions were usually made once a month, which made it difficult for a poor family to plan ahead. The Food Stamp Program provided recipients with two kinds of stamps. They could purchase orange stamps at face value and receive half that amount in blue stamps for free. The blue stamps could only be used to buy food declared "surplus" each month by the Secretary of Agriculture. The orange stamps, however, could be used to buy any food item.
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Re: United States Department of Agriculture Food Stamps

Post by pikonen »

Brummie,

Thank you, you've been a great source of information!
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Re: United States Department of Agriculture Food Stamps

Post by RayRatt »

The 25-cent orange Food Order and blue Surplus Food Order stamps were first produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for the Federal Surplus Commodity Corporation in early 1939. They originally had “FSCC” printed on each stamp, but that was changed to “USDA” in late 1940. They were issued in various denominations of booklets containing panes with four stamps. Participants had to pay for the orange stamps, but they were given free blue stamps equal to 50% of the cost. Orange stamps could be used to buy any groceries, but the blue stamps could only be used to buy surplus food.

The booklets were produced in several denominations over the years, ranging from $1.00 (containing one pane of four orange and one pane with two blue stamps and two filler stamps) - to $12 (containing 12 panes of orange stamps and 6 panes of blue stamps).

Booklets containing just blue stamps were also produced and were given out at no cost to the truly poor… those stamps could only be used to buy surplus food. And, booklets containing just orange stamps were also made for a few distribution centers that also gave them out to the truly poor - in this case, it allowed the recipient to but anything in the grocery store rather than just surplus food.

In late 1940 and early 1941, the USDA had the BEP produce coil colls of both the orange and blue stamps. All known examples have SPECIMEN overprinted on each stamp. The coil stamps were never distributed to the public. The Food Stamp program ended in 1943.

In 1940, the FSCC created another program to help increase cotton sales. Booklets containing green and brown FSCC Cotton stamps were produced in early 1940 (in late 1940, the stamps were changed to show USDA rather than FSCC). In this program, each participant received free brown Surplus Cotton Stamps equal to the number of green stamps they had to pay for.

In 1941, another cotton program was created to encourage cotton farmers to grow less cotton. They were given free black USDA Cotton Order stamps if they agreed to switch from growing cotton to some other crop on part of their farm. Those booklets ranged in value from 50-cents (containing two stamps and two filler stamps) to $25. The two Cotton Stamp programs ended in late 1942 or early 1943.

Anyone who has Food or Cotton booklet covers is asked to post images of the front covers on this site. There are many varieties. Early booklet covers had unique serial numbers while later books had no numbers. These stamps are not listed in the Scott Catalogue; there are incomplete listings for them in one of the Springer Catalogs, but, I’d like to get enough information to try to get them listed in the Scott Specialized.

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