Relief from the Great Depression

In 1931, seeing the great need caused by the world wide depression, employees of Upper Merion schools organized relief for some local families.  They caught the attention of the Upper Merion Benevolent Association, which began to support their efforts to feed breakfast and lunch to school children.


In 1932, the Upper Merion Releif Association was created, and in January of 1933, it began distributing relief to people throughout the township.  We have a small notebook in our collection listing the recipients of relief by area.


Relief seemed to take of the form of foodstuffs and cash, but at least one person received a layette according to this note tucked inside the book.


A newspaper article enclosed in the book shows that the organization was still around in 1935, but I couldn’t find out what happened to the group.  Perhaps as the economy improved and it was no longer needed, or it may be that the organization turned to the war effort after 1941.


This group and all the people who supported it are great examples of the generosity of Montgomery Countians.  Do you know anything about the Upper Merion Relief Association?  Are you aware of similar groups in other parts of the county?  Please tell us about them in the comments.