Source 4

Children queuing for Salvation Army ‘Farthing Breakfasts’, about 1900

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4. Look at Source 4. These are children queuing for Salvation Army ‘Farthing breakfasts’.

A farthing was a quarter of an old penny; there were 12 old pennies in a shilling. A shilling = 5p; an old penny = less than half of 1p; a farthing = one tenth of 1p.

  • What does the photograph tell you about the kinds of children who took these breakfasts?
  • One farthing was very little, even then. Why do you think the Salvation Army charged anything at all?
  • Why did the government bring in school meals, rather than leaving it to charitable organisations like the Salvation Army?
  • Why do think this photograph was taken?
  • How could this photograph be used with the other sources in this lesson as evidence of child poverty?