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Cutting through the indecision of the past months, President Truman has issued a clear call for action to alleviate Europe's food crisis. For the observer who has watched with increasing frustration the various emergency meetings, the extended world jaunt of Herbert Hoover, and the utter failure to act, this comes as a welcome appeal. For the member of the University it is more than an appeal, it is a challenge to express in deed his concepts of idealism.
The Student Council has acted promptly in appointing a special committee and giving it the powers necessary for effective work. Already plans are being made to initiate a three fold program. The Committee has appealed to all students and employees of the dining halls to cooperate in eliminating food waste. No one who has observed the preparation of meals and the enormous amount of leftovers will belittle the saving to be effected in this way. But even further, the Harvard Food Relief Committee hopes to work out proposals with. University officials whereby actual contributions of food or money will be turned over to the committee's funds if the student body should endorse a program of voluntary rationing. Response so far indicates that undergraduates will not be slow to show approval of a practical plan. Finally, the Committee intends to issue an appeal for contributions from all members of the University, students and faculty alike, and to the alumni. Leading off with a pledge of one thousand dollars, the Council furnishes an example of the generosity needed in this emergency undertaking.
The Harvard Food Relief Fund will be spent in two-ways. In line with the President's request that food be bought on the open market, the Committee will use as much as possible to purchase and ship food overseas directly. One suggestion that should find sympathy among students in this American university is to send supplies to the universities of Europe. The remainder of the fund will be allocated to other organizations already engaged in shipping food to Europe.
Harvard has been slow to get started. Reports from Bryn Mawr, Oberlin, and Wesleyan indicate that working programs are actually under way. Radcliffe has instituted a weekly light meal and eliminated desserts twice a week. But more should be possible here, where students are allotted 4200 calories per day compared to the 3500 calories established by dietitians as the daily requirement for the active man. Even the lower figure seems gluttonous beside the UNRRA's 1500 ealory minimum diet, which is still an ideal for many Europeans. Even casual reflection on these facts should prod the well-fed conscience to back the Council committee's efforts.
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