Between hunger and rationing

The Albinelli Market symbol of food shortage

From the moment Italy entered the war, it was clear that food reserves were very low compared to the needs of civilians. While inflation raised rapidly and agricultural production slowed down, the ration book policies proved to be unsuccessful and unable to sustain the war effort. The control of food resources immediately proved to be very complicated to achieve, so much so that the scarcity of food and the rationing rules put in place by the regime forced the sections of the population with sufficient economic means, to increasingly resort to the black market.

Food thus became a thermometer of the Fascist State complete inability to provide for the population’s minimum sustenance, to which were added the difficulties caused by the lack of means of transport and damage to the road and rail network. In addition, the scarcity of food resources was affected by the continuous influx of refugees and displaced persons, for whom the individual municipalities also had to provide food.

Manifesto pubblico per la distribuzione del cibo

[Fonte: Fondazione Gramsci]