CARE Package


CARE, the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, was established in 1945 when 22 American organizations rushed lifesaving CARE packages to survivors of World War II. This cardboard CARE package, which dates from 1962, contains seven smaller boxes and bags of macaroni, cornmeal, Carnation instant chocolate flavored drink mix, and nonfat dried milk. A paper insert reads "August 6, 1962. Greetings from the men of the U.S.S. Lake Champlain." The macaroni boxes are marked "Packed for CARE USA by A.Zerega's Sons, Inc." CARE is the acronym for "Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe." CARE Package is the registered trademark of the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc.

Originally, CARE packages contained surplus foodstuffs from the military, but after the Army rations ran out in early 1947, CARE assembled its own packages, typically containing several tinned meats, eight ounces of powdered eggs, a pound each of lard, apricot preserves, honey, and raisins, and two pounds each of margarine, sugar, powdered milk, and coffee. Food companies made donations of their products, but CARE bought most of these supplies and paid for their shipment. Individuals placed orders by mailing a $15 "remittance" (a check or money order) to CARE's headquarters in New York.

Packages were assembled in Philadelphia, shipped overseas, and delivered locally by any means of conveyance. When a recipient received the gift, a signed receipt was returned to the sender within 120 days. As the famine threat subsided, CARE packages included books, blankets, tools, and knitting supplies. CARE even managed to send x-ray machines and iron lungs from its larger donors. The food package program ended in 1967, as CARE switched to other means of shipping commodities, though it renewed the classic CARE Package occasionally, most recently in the former Soviet republics and in Bosnia.

Date Made: 1962

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Biological Sciences, Food


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift from Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc. (CARE)

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1996.0067.01.1Catalog Number: 1996.0067.01.1Accession Number: 1996.0067

Object Name: box

Physical Description: cardboard (overall material)Measurements: overall: 22.8 cm x 30.4 cm x 34.3 cm; 9 in x 11 15/16 in x 13 1/2 in


Record Id: nmah_1274715

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