Hayward and San Leandro, Alameda Co., California, April 17 and May 3, 1940.
Hayward and San Leandro are small towns, not far from Oakland, on one of California's most important highways. Originally agricultural communities, Oakland industries have slowly stretched southward to dip into the cheap labor market afforded by the old rural population, of which about a third is either Italian or Portuguese. In both these towns Surplus Commodities Depots have been set up. In Hayward, and old store serves as a depot. In Sand Leandro, the Surplus Commodities truck from the warehouse in Emeryville parks in front of an old theater and clerks dispense the food directly from the truck. Unlike most youth, who are more than willing to be photographed, those in relief lines usually object. These fellows waiting in line at the Surplus Commodities Depots in Hayward and San Leandro all demanded to know where and by whom their pictures would be used. Many turned their backs, refusing to be photographed, and only about a quarter of them finally consented. Most of them are here with cards issued not to themselves but to their families. Without exception, they feel very keenly the stigma they believe attached to any form of direct relief.