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Frances Stern

In her belief that better nutrition could improve the lives of working-class people, Frances Stern created institutes, schools, and books to teach children and adults how to eat healthy on a budget. Stern began her career as a Hebrew school teacher, working with immigrant children, and then helped establish the Louisa May Alcott club in 1895 to teach homemaking skills to girls. She worked as a lab assistant under Ellen H. Richards at the Pratt Institute, analyzing the chemical composition of food, and studied nutrition at MIT. Stern wrote Food for the Worker in 1917 based on her work with aid associations for the sick and poor. In WWI, she investigated food adequacy for both the Department of Agriculture and the American Red Cross in France. In 1918, she helped found the Food Clinic of the Boston Dispensary, which offered advice on nutrition and meal preparation as well as researching people’s behaviors around food to target initiatives to specific groups. Always improving her methods, Stern included cutting-edge research on vitamins in the revision of her last book, Applied Dietetics, in 1943.

Date of Birth
July 3, 1873
Place of Birth
Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Death
December 24, 1947

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Frances Stern." (Viewed on March 24, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/stern-frances>.


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