Winifred S. (Winifred Stuart) Gibbs.

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income may be received in the form of a pension
from private or State funds, from the earnings of
the children, or from the combined earnings of
all the members of the family. One object has
been to help in fixing an adequate standard of
living for families in corresponding income groups.

In the succeeding pages when the items of the
estimate are discussed in detail there will be sug-
gestions for improvement in this estimate. These
suggestions may lead it is hoped to the considera-
tion of the next step in this campaign of home
preservation. This next step will be to discuss
just how much must be added to the estimate of
living needs so that the family income may pro-
vide a comfortable balance.



CHAPTER II
Housing Conditions

The sum paid for rent was largely a concession
to circumstances. It will be worth while to as-
certain, first, the percentage spent for rent by
each family according to income; second, the
number of rooms needed to keep the family in
health and comfort; third, the maximum of con-
venience procurable by families in this income
group; and finally, the fluctuations of rent ac-
cording to the number of rooms.

Of the seventy-five families, one with an income
of $200-$300, paid its rent by janitor service;
famihes in the S300-$400 group paid 28% of theu-
income for rent; those in the $400-$500, a per-
centage of 17-25; in the $500-1600, a percentage
of 16-33; in the $600-$700, a percentage of 18-38;
in the $700-$800, a percentage of 18-34; in the
$800-1900, a percentage of 16-33; in the $900-
$1,000, a percentage of 13-17; and in the $1,000
to $1,100 group, a percentage of 17-18 of the

income.

56



Housing Conditions 57

NUMBER OP ROOMS NEEDED

Perhaps the best way to discuss this question
is to give a report of the number of rooms the
famines actually had. It has already been stated
that the housing conditions were somewhat of a
compromise, and the workers were agreed that,
while the famihes were comfortable in these
quarters, and while the rent paid was all that they
could afford, ideally, 50% of the famihes should
have had at least one room additional.

When considered according to the number of
rooms needed, the famihes fall into the following
groups :

Group 1 — three famihes of three individuals
each, one of these having three rooms, the other
two famihes having four rooms.

Group 2 — twenty-six families of four individ-
uals, one having two rooms, twelve having three
rooms, twelve having four rooms, and one having
five rooms.

Group 3 — nineteen famihes of five individuals
each, seven having three rooms, ten having four
rooms, and two having five rooms.

Group 4 — fifteen famihes of six individuals



58 The Minimum Cost of Living

each, five having three rooms, eight having four
rooms, and two having five rooms.

Group 5 — six famiUes of seven individuals each,
three having three rooms, two having four rooms,
and one having five rooms.

Group 6 — five famihes of eight individuals each,
four having four rooms, and one having five rooms.

Group 7 — one family of nine individuals having
four rooms.

CONVENIENCES

Of the seventy-five families, thirteen had private
bathrooms, forty-four private toilets, thirty had
joint use of toilets in the hall, and one, a toilet in
the yard.

RENT ACCORDING TO NUMBER OF ROOMS

When considered according to the amount of
space furnished for a given sum, the apartments
may be grouped as follows:

Group 1 — two apartments of two rooms, rent
for each $10.00.

Group 2 — twenty-nine apartments of three
rooms; two having rent paid by janitor service,
one renting at $7.50 per month, two at $8.00,



Housing Conditions 59

one at $9.50, five at $10.00, four at $11.00, two
at $12.00, eight at $13.00, two at $14.00, one at
$15.00, and one at $19.00.

Group 3 — forty apartments of four rooms; three
of these having rent paid by janitor service, one
at $10.50 per month, two at $11.00, three at $11.50,
three at $12.00, seven at $13.00, one at $13.50,
six at $14.00, three at $15.00, one at $15.50, two
at $16.00, two at $17.00, two at $18.00, two
at $20.00, and two at $21.00.

Group 4 — six apartments of five rooms; one
having rent paid by janitor service, one at $12.00
per month, one at $12.50, one at $14.00, one at
$15.00, and one at $16.00 per month.

Examination of the expense accounts shows that
none of the famiUes can afford for rent a sum
sufficient to insure really satisfactory housing.
Indeed, one might say that existence in a typical
tenement house is never wholly satisfactory from
the point of view of sanitation, privacy and enjoy-
ment. That om* families live in them such well-
ordered fives, is a tribute to the resourcefulness
and pluck of the housekeeper, as well as to the
general cheerfulness of spirit prevailing among
the various members of the family group.



CHAPTER III

The Seventy-five Dietaries Considered in Detail

In fixing the ration allowance, the families are
grouped according to size. It has already been
stated that the ration allowance is planned so that
groups of families may use it as a guide.

In the first group we have families numbers 1
to 29, inclusive, in the second group, families
numbers 30 to 48, inclusive, in the third group,
families numbers 49 to 69, inclusive, in the fifth
group, families numbers 70 to 74, inclusive, and
family number 75, forms the sixth group.



60



The Seventy-jive Dietaries in Detail



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The Seventy-five Dietaries in Detail 63



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The Seventy-five Dietaries in Detail



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The Minimum Cost of Living






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The Seventy-jive Dietaries in Detail 67

When the matter of instruction in diet was
first contemplated the workers realized that they
were facing a long campaign. In planning this
campaign, the dietitians weighed carefully the
need for each reform in diet, and the relative
chances of success. They realized that it was a
delicate matter to lay even the friendliest of
hands on home matters, and so they decided to
concentrate on one point at a time. Furthermore,
it was planned to make each of these points the
maximum of interest until some definite result
should be accomplished. Left to its own devices,
the average family in such a group, breakfasts
on bread or sugar buns and tea. The noon
meal, if ''supper" is the chief one of the day,
will probably be "something quick," mayhap
potato-salad or ham from the delicatessen store,
with more tea; while the hot supper, if there
has been no interruption of pay day, will
always have meat, and almost always the meat
will be fried. Besides this there will be pota-
toes and sometimes a vegetable, with bread
and coffee. ''The children must take what
we do" — this means the strong coffee and
tea, cold lunches, fried food, with no cer-



68 TJie Minimum Cost of Living

tainty of the much needed milk, vegetables
and fruit.

In judging results of the food work, each part
of the plan of instruction will be considered
separately. Besides this, the dietary standard as
a whole, will be discussed in relation to what ac-
tually happened in the famihes.

The plan of instruction included the following:

1. Food value of milk and economy in its use.

2. The advantage of a reasonable amount of
meat.

3. The necessity for fruits and vegetables.

4. The use of cereals to give variety to the
starchy foods.

5. Harmful effects of tea and coffee for children.

We have aheady noted that the dietary stand-
ard was used merely as a guide. The famihes
were given advice and instruction in food matters,
but the final choice was left to each housekeeper.
It was thought wisest to follow this course, since
arbitrary dictation would defeat the chief aim
of the instruction. Furthermore, the real value
of the standard itself could be better judged if a
reasonable amount of freedom of choice were
given.



The Seventy-five Dietaries in Detail 69

Summary of the Food Figures

Families approaching

Standard Below Above

MUk 60% 40%

Meat 4% 96%

Fruit and Vegetables 54% 6% 40%

Bread 8% 92%

Cereals 41% 8% 51%



RESULTS FOLLOWING INSTRUCTION IN THE FOOD VALUE
OF MILK

The dietitians feel that the results here were
fairly satisfactory. Slow and patient work is
needed to bring about changes in food habits,
and the women responded very well in this partic-
ular. It is true that many educational agencies
throughout the city have contributed to a popular
knowledge concerning the value of milk, so that
the A. I. C. P. workers found instruction on this
point comparatively easy.

In 1906, when the home teaching began, few
families were using milk of any description with
any degree of regularity, and it was quite excep-
tional to find one using bottled milk. At the
present time it is safe to say that it is the excep-
tion to find a family that does not at least reaUze
the value of bottled milk.



70 The Minimum Cost of Living

The dietitians did not lose heart over the 40%
of the famihes who fell below the milk standard.
In each home there are special problems, and
circumstances often conspire to make progress
slow.

It was difficult at first to convince the house-
keepers that they could "afford" to buy a liberal
quantity of milk. After they were convinced
that milk not only contributed to the health of
the family, but that it also was literally a cheap
food, the battle was practically won.

RESULTS FOLLOWING INSTRUCTION IN THE MODERATE
USE OF MEAT

From the beginning the workers realized that
they could accomplish only one thing at a time.
They realized that all of the families were buying
meat in too large quantities. Education in the
value of milk was, however, thought to be of
primary importance, and the results of this are
noted above.

The results of the meat instruction do not
appear on the surface at first glance. The die-
titians succeeded in reducing the excessive amount
very considerably in nearly every family. Beside



The Seventy-jive Dietaries in Detail 71

this, in fixing the food standard the workers real-
ized that the meat item was so low that probably
none of the families would follow it exactly. The
teachers felt sure, however, that no real harm
would come from the small proportion of meat,
since the other foods were being shifted into their
right relationships.

During the periods of irregular income preceding
instruction, large purchases of meat were made
whenever there was a temporary increase of
money. The dietitians worked very hard to
guard against such unwise planning in the future.
Women were taught that it was harmful to the
health of the famiUes to let this item of food as-
sume too large a place in the dietary.

RESULTS FOLLOWING INSTRUCTION IN USE OF FRUITS
AND VEGETABLES

For some time one of the dietitian's difficulties
had been to induce the families to use enough of
these foods. It took much persuasion to con-
vince mothers that oranges were anything but
an extravagance. The merits of ''plenty of milk
and eggs" were extolled openly by the women,
but the relation of carrots and spinach to bone



72 The Minimum Cost of Living

material was quite a new idea. Because of these
facts, and because of long acquaintance with the
evils resulting from a diet low in fruit and vege-
tables, the dietitians were not unduly cast down
over the fact that the pendulum swung too far
the other way.

RESULTS FOLLOWING INSTRUCTION IN THE USE OF BREAD
AND CEREALS

There is a tendency among many of the families
of the hard working population to depend too
largely on the diet of bread and tea. There are
two reasons for this, first, its apparent cheap-
ness, and second, the ease with which it can be
served.

The dietitians realized this and from the be-
ginning of the regular instruction kept these
facts in mind. The plan was to introduce a variety
of cereals and to cut down somewhat the expendi-
tures for bread. A glance at the summary on
page 69 shows that not much was accomplished
along this line. It is true that a fair proportion
came near the cereal allowance, but slightly more
than half exceeded it and an overwhelming pro-
portion went far beyond the bread allowance.



The Seventy-jive Dietaries in Detail 73

These facts raise some interesting questions in
dietetics. During the time when the famihes were
subsisting on a meagre diet it was not surprising
that they craved the energy-giving quahties of
starch as well as its bulk. Conditions during the
present study were, however, quite different.
There was an abundance of fruit and vegetables,
and plenty of strength foods. The question seems
to be how far shall this demand for breadstuffs be
respected in formulating future dietary standards.

RESULTS FOLLOWING INSTRUCTION REGARDING TEA AND
COFFEE

Figures showing actual purchases of tea and
coffee have not been tabulated, since the effect
of these articles on the actual dietary is indirect
only. Instruction concerning the harmful effects
of these beverages for children was continuous and
results have been satisfactory. There is a close
relationship in milk education and the decreased
use of the tea and coffee. It was explained to
the mothers that the use of these beverages tended
to use up the strength of the children faster than
the other foods could offset this evil of stimula-
tions.



74 The Minimum Cost of Living

POINTS TO BE CONSIDERED IN THE FORMULATING
OF A NEW RATION ALLOWANCE

1. It is probable that no change need be made
in the quantity of milk advised.

2. The allowance of fruits and vegetables seems
to be satisfactory.

3. Some work should be done on the question
of fixing a standard amount of bread.

4. There should be a sufficiently liberal total
allowance to permit the families some freedom in
satisfying individual wants in the matter of flavor
and variety.

CLASSIFICATION OF FOOD ACCORDING TO SIZE AND
COMPOSITION OF FAMILY

Considering the food expenditure according to
the size of families, we have the following groups:

Group 1 — three families of three individuals
each, one spending 46% of the income for food,
one spending 71%, and one 74% of the income
for food.

Group 2 — twenty-six families of four individuals
each, one spending 36% of the income for food,
one 37%), one 38%,, one 41%, two 43%, two 44%,



The Seventy-five Dietaries in Detail 75

three 45%, three 47%, three 48%, two 49%,
three 50%, one 51%, one 52%, one 57%, and
one 62% of the income for food.

Group 3 — twenty families of five individuals
each, one family spending 38% of the income for
food, one 39%, one 40%, one 42%, one 44%, two
49%, three 50%, three 51%, two 52%, two 53%,
one 54%, one 55%, and one 63% of the income
for food.

Group 4 — fifteen families of six individuals each,
one spending 41% of the income for food, one
42%, one 45%, two 46%, two 47%, one 48%,
two 49%, one 50%, one 52%, one 54%, and two
57%, of the income for food.

Group 5 — six families of seven individuals each,
one spending 42% of the income for food, one 47%,
one 49%, two 50%, and one 57% of the income for
food.

Group 6 — four families of six individuals each,
one spending 45% of the income for food, one 47%,
one 48%, and one 50% of the income for food.

Group 7 — one family of eight individuals spend-
ing 53% of the income for food.

It is a generally accepted fact that large families
can buy to better advantage than small ones. In



76 The Minimum Cost of Living

this group the advantage has not seemed to be so
great as might have been expected. The per-
centage of expenditure for food remains surpris-
ingly imiform.

CLASSIFICATION OF FOOD EXPENDITURES ACCORD-
ING TO INCOME

Considered according to income the food ex-
penditures of the famiUes may be divided as fol-
lows:

Group 1 — one family with an income of $200-
$300 spending 71% oi this income for food.

Group 2 — two families with an income of $300-
$400, one spending 48% for food, the other 74% of
the income for food.

Group 3 — nine families with an income of $400-
$500, one spending 38% for food, one 42%, one
48%, one 52%, one 56%, two 57%, one 62%, and
one 63% of the income for food.

Group Jf. — twenty-one families with an income of
$500-$600, one spending 38% for food, one 41%,
one 42%, one 43%, two 45%, one 46%, one 47%,
one 48%, three 49%, three 50%, two 51%, two
52%, one 53%, and one 55%.

Group 5 — eighteen famiUes with an income of



The Seventy-five Dietaries in Detail 77

)-$700, one spending 36% for food, one 37%,
one 39%, one 40%, two 44%, one 45%, two 47%,
one 48%, one 49%, three 50%, one 51%, one 52%,
one 53%, and one 54% of the income for food.

Group 6 — twelve famihes with an income of
$700-1800, one spending 43% for food, two 44%,
one 45%, two 46%, one 47%, three 49%, one 50%,
and one 53% of the income for food.

Group 7 — seven famihes with an income of $800-
$900, one spending 34% for food, one 41%, one
42%, two 48%, and two 50% of the income for
food.

Group 8 — two famihes with an income of $900-
$1,000, one spending 53% and one 57% of the
income for food.

Group 9 — three famihes with an income of
$1,000-$1,200, one spending 45% for food, one
47% and one 54% of the income for food.

From the above it is evident that the income
must go beyond the $1,200 amount before a rea-
sonable decrease may be expected in the per-
centage spent for food.



CHAPTER IV

The Clothing Budget

The clothing item constitutes one of the most
serious phases of the problem. The fact that
necessity leads the housekeeper to plan first of all
for the rent, second for the food, and third for
incidentals, shifts the clothing expenditure into a
secondary place.

Circumstances make the lives of our unskilled
working folk a series of vicious circles. The very
lack of provision for various necessities contributes
to the low state of health that, in turn, decreases
the power to earn more.

In the case of the clothing, even with careful
planning, the sum left after rent, food, and in-
cidentals have been paid for will barely clothe the
working and school members of the family. The
housekeeper herself must eke out with cast-off
garments. Women frequently say — ''I have not
had a hat, or a coat" — as the case may be — ''for
ten years."

Clean, comfortable and suitable clothing for the

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The Clothing Budget 79

house mother would react favorably on the welfare
of the entire family. The fact that many of our
families depend on gifts is not an unmixed blessing.


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