Did you know?

Some of the contents of an original CARE package sent from the USA to people in need in Europe

Sending CARE packages was what CARE was first set up to do

CARE was first set up in the USA in 1945 under the name Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe. Americans paid $10 to send a ‘CARE package’ to someone in Europe. The packages to the UK contained tins of beef broth, corned beef, tinned fruit, lard, sugar and milk powder – food heaven for families and a generation of children who had only known strict rationing.

It’s hard to convey to somebody how hungry we were and what CARE meant. It meant survival... Every time you heard CARE you thought of food, of help, and it has never left us. - Marta Edie

After the war ended, Europe was in ruins and food was in short supply. CARE packages were an early example of international aid, provided not just by governments but by people in one country to people in need across the world.

I was one of the first recipients for a CARE package… I promised myself that if I can, one day I will help CARE... I know how people must feel when they receive a package.
- Georges Selzer

For British families who received a CARE package it represented something more than just food – it represented ‘goodwill’ and a message of hope, delivered from someone far away who had a simple human desire to help them. General Eisenhower wrote at the time:

CARE food packages are a tangible person-to-person expression of international brotherhood.

Share your story

If you or your family or someone you know received a CARE package, please get in touch to tell us your story:

  • fill in the form below
  • call us on 0800 320 2233

We’re very happy for you to just share a few memories or your full story – as much or as little as you want to share. And if you have any photos or other memorabilia to go with your story, please let us know. We’ve created an online home for memories about the original CARE packages (and we feature longer stories on our website too). We think it’s important that the stories aren’t forgotten and that future generations can share them.