Food

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Escapee Denis Vibert report on early months of the Occupation

Rationing

The rationing, as it was known before the occupation by the Germans, was extended to other commodities and became more severe. In due course of time the rations were reduced, and in many cases where stocks ceased to exist these items disappeared from the market altogether.

Supplies from France

Some essential supplies are obtained from France, where two or three buyers have been sent from the Islands. The French do not like to sell but are forced to do so by the Germans. The position reached by the autumn of 1941 may be briefly summarised as follows:

The Germans require butter to be made for them from the milk with the result that milk has to be rationed, the allowance being half a pint per person, although more is allowed for childen. The Islanders get very little of this butter as most of their ration comes from France.

Weekly ration per person

2 oz butter (Note: no other fats)
1 oz tea (this is likely to disappear shortly)
2 oz sugar
bread: men, 4½ pounds; women, 4 pounds; children, 3 to 3½ pounds (the bread is rather grey, and is made from rye or bran and sometimes from crushed beans). Men engaged on heavy work may have 1½ pounds extra.
meat: There is no fixed ration, but it is generally about fivepence [about 2 pence] worth per week
cigarettes: 10 per man, and occasionally 1 ounce of tobacco.

Very infrequently there may be a small amount of Camembert cheese or some other little extra, or perhaps a small ration of oat or bran flour, or a little semolina. When grinding of the local harvest has begun the ration of bran and oat flour will be weekly, but it is unlikely that the bread ration will be increased, although the bread will be of better quality. There is no soap or salt, and no other foodstuffs whatsoever can be purchased. Vegetables are not rationed. Food prices are controlled and are very reasonable. The grocery bill, excluding vegetables, for a family of six amounts to less than 10 shillings [50 pence] for a week. There are no sweets, cakes, jam, etc., but children have once had a ration of 1 pound of jam. For those who are engaged on work for the Germans there is an additional ration of 1 pound of bread per day, and half a pound of butter per week. Blackberry leaves are being used as a substitute for tea, while baked parsnips are being made to take the place of coffee. Rabbits and chickens are being kept by a number of the Islanders.

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