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People’s Free Food Program 1969 Vintage Men’s T-shirt



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The federal government began toying with free breakfast for underprivileged children in 1966, but in 1969, there still wasn’t free breakfast and kids were going to school hungry. In Oakland, the Black Panthers jumped into action, organizing their own free breakfast program. Initially, the program operated out of St. Augustine’s Church in Oakland, California, but upon its success, moved into churches, community centers, and schools in almost every city that had a Black Panthers chapter. The Free Breakfast Program quickly became the central organizing activity of the Black Panthers, and the reach and success of the program highlighted the inadequacies of the federal government’s under-resourced lunch programs across the country. The program allowed the children of poor neighborhoods to eat a healthy nourishing meal in a safe, supportive environment before school, optimizing their ability to learn. Formally called the Free Breakfast for School Children Program, the program expanded beyond breakfast to provide free groceries to those in need, utilizing the same donor network that got the breakfast program up and running. People’s Free Food Program design comes from the posters used at the breakfast locations, on community free grocery bags, and the shirts many volunteers wore. Despite its successes, federal authorities attempted to discredit and derail the Free Breakfast Program. Among other actions, authorities targeted the party with rumors of poisoned food and raided breakfast program locations while children were eating.


Like all our designs, this one is treated with our signature ‘relic-ing’ process which includes our own secret recipe of hand-painted chipping, cracking, fading, and just the right touch of yellowing to ensure that it looks the part of a true vintage imprint.** We lay these works of art down on premium Bella+Canvas 3001 Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve Tees, one of the softest, best-wearing t-shirts available today, via state of the art direct to garment (DTG) printing which allows us to create a vintage effect that simply can’t be accomplished with other printing methods. In short, these shirts are everything you’ve dreamed of and more – it feels soft and lightweight with just the right amount of stretch making it comfortable and flattering for both men and women.

  • 100% combed and ring-spun cotton*
  • Fabric weight: 4.2 oz (142 g/m2)
  • 30 single
  • Tear-away label
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder taping
  • Side-seamed
  • Retail fit
  • Runs true to size


Not sure what size is your best fit? We recommend taking one of your current t-shirts, laying it flat and measuring it. The measurements in the chart below are taken with the shirt laying on a flat surface. To get the length, measure from the high shoulder point down to the bottom of the shirt. To get the width, measure approximately 1-inch below the armhole, across the chest, from seam to seam. While our tees are all made using premium, pre-shrunk, ring-spun cotton, there can be some shrinkage depending on your personal wash and dry cycles. With that said, if you’re on the fence, we always suggest going up a size.

Width 18 20 22.01 24.02 25.99 28
Length 28 29.02 30 31.03 32.01 33
Sleeves 8.9 9.18 9.45 9.73 10 10.4

All sizes are provided in inches!

*Heather colors are 52% combed and ring-spun cotton/48% polyester. Athletic and Black Heather is 90% combed and ring-spun cotton/10% polyester. Ash color is 99% Airlume combed and ring-spun cotton and 1% poly. **Due to the nature of the printing process and different sizes of shirts offered, imprint position and scale may vary slightly from the product images, but we do our best to be as accurate as possible.

Psyne Co.