The Blood Bank
When the small tins of soup, vienna sausage, and tuna fish went missing from our family larder, and my mother was upset, my sister would have to explain her friends were starving. She described the blood bank in Pomona or Upland, which was part of the Red Cross Southern California Blood Services Region. "Wow, the people in that place are awful. Mostly drunks and bums selling their blood" and she might likely never want a transfusion.
She knew about the blood bank because she had driven some of them down there, and she wouldn't even wait in the waiting room after walking them in, but went out and stayed in her car. There were some patriotic poster motifs on the wall, too, and notices about disaster preparedness. To pass the time, I read through a small government print offiice guide on artificial respiration left behind and how to pump water out of someone's lungs. In school, because of the threat of nuclear holocaust, a short course in First Aid was mandatory and not an elective, so I would study when I could.
At the Pomona blood bank, because they were pulling donors from the ranks of the very poor of Pomona (blacks, poor white trash, drunks, hoboes, bums, and a small group of starving musicians that the Red Cross didn't know about), they put out the cheapest incentive and reward for donating blood: a cheap box of instant mashed potatoes that had very large near yellowy flakes. Dehydrated and easily reconstituted by adding water, those were a new product then and perfect for storing in the bomb shelter in case of Nuclear Holocaust. As a food stuff for humans at large, their popularity grew throughout American and on around the world. So popular they became that people wrote songs about them and invented dances that were performed on the Dick Clark Show.
I've inserted a recipe here
in the event you might not know how to prepare such a dish.
Not just in the event of nuclear holocaust, but what if we made it into space, what would we eat then? Reconstituted foods were popular for the astronauts in training, too, and I very much enjoyed reading the recipe for Orange Cappuccino on the Tang cylinder: 1 tsp tang, 1 tsp instant coffee, and hot water.