Caption: Women from destitute families prepare peaches and string beans for canning just outside the Welcome Inn, a food-distribution charity that was built beneath the Municipal (later MacArthur) Bridge, just east of Fourth Street. The picture was published Sept. 11, 1931. Ralph Hirsch, who owned a nearby bunkhouse for workingmen, organized the Welcome Inn in April 1930 to help jobless and homeless families that had been building shacks along the Mississippi River. Those squatter communities became known as Hoovervilles, a bitter reference to President Herbert Hoover. The biggest such community in St. Louis formed along the river from the Municipal Bridge south for more than a mile. The Welcome Inn was only three blocks to its west. In November 1930, charity-minded philanthropists from the city's wealthy Central West End took over the Welcome Inn and expanded its offerings. They hired women, such as those seen here, to can donated produce for winter distribution. The women were paid in food. (Post-Dispatch)
Album ID: 918017
Photo ID: 27374105
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