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Historia Crítica

versão impressa ISSN 0121-1617


YANEZ ANDRADE, Juan Carlos. The Poor are invited to Dinner. Debates on Transnational Projects for Feeding the Popular Classes in South America, 1930-1950. hist.crit. [online]. 2019, n.71, pp.69-91. ISSN 0121-1617.


This article analyzes the debates on feeding the popular classes in South America between 1930 and 1950, offering a comparative framework for the experiences of the people’s restaurants or dining rooms which were established in Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Chile.


The phenomenon of feeding the poor has traditionally been treated as a strictly national problem, in the framework of the formulation of public policies which strengthened the action of the State. Without denying the value of that standpoint, this article systematizes the debates which arose in continental institutions, under the auspices of supranational bodies like the Pan-American Union and the Pan American Health Organization.


This article is framed within an analytical and descriptive investigation which systematizes the debates about feeding the popular classes in South America. The school of transnational focuses approaches the phenomenon of feeding as a set of problems where diverse international institutions, professional associations and State agencies regionally discuss policies for social intervention in the matter. This helps us to understand the common and distinguishing features which were found in the policies for feeding the popular classes in the region, discussing in some cases the circulation of ideas or influences which arose when these experiences were shared in international forums.


Here, we show the reach which international bodies had in the discussion about formulating State policies for feeding the poor. We analyze the concrete conditions in which such popular restaurants worked in different countries, in accordance with the demands for meeting international standards and the cultural variables characteristic of each nation.

Palavras-chave : South America; nutrition; feeding the poor; popular restaurants.

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