One Dish Meal Day
Repository: Adrian Shubert Personal Collection, Toronto, Canada
Creator: Local administrative unit in the Francoist Zone
Fond or Collection
Repository and Location
Adrian Shubert Personal Collection, Toronto, Canda.
Extent: 1 item
The food supply situation in Francoist Spain was very different than in the Republican zone. The rebels controlled most of the country’s most important sources of food, including the grain producing región of Castile-Leon and Galicia, with its fishing fleet and important fish canning industry. As a result, the civilian population did not face the hardships endured by people in Republican Spain. Even so, Francoist authorities did use food as a way of generating resources for rearguard activities. They did this through the One-Dish Meal Day and the Day without Desert.
The One-Dish Meal Day was inspired by the One Pot Sundays the Nazis had introduced shortly after coming to power in 1933. On the first Sunday of every month, German families were to forego their habitual roast for an authorized one-pot stew. The money saved went to the Winter Relief of the German People welfare fund. This was one of a number of ways Nazi authorities made citizens support party activities.
The practice was introduced into Nationalist Spain in October 1936 by General Gonzalo Queipo de Llano. On October 30, the Nationalist government decreed that, effective November 15, the 1st and 15th of every month would be designated as One-Dish Meal Day. Customers at hotels and restaurants could choose a meat, fish or vegetable dish, plus desert, but were charged for a full meal. The difference, between 40 and 60 percent, was collected by the government. The measure also applied to private homes. As in Nazi Germany, collectors went to people’s homes to receive the money and left a stamp like the ones above, as proof of payment.
Initially, the proceeds were to be used to fund food kitchens, kindergartens, nurseries, orphanages and similar institutions. Starting in August 1937, One-Dish Meal Day was changed to every Friday, in part to make the idea more palatable to Catholics, and the money raised was divided equally between a fund to support the families of combattants and the Social Welfare Protection Fund that financed welfare activities. At the same time, Mondays were declared to be the Day without Desert, with the money saved going to the same purposes. Municipal governments kept registers of who paid. People and businesses that didn’t pay were fined and could have their names publicized in lists of “bad patriots”.
One-Dish Meal Day and the Day without Desert continued after war ended and were not eliminated until January 1942, when the Franco regime introduced rationing.