A South Carolina community came together to make 10,000 sandwiches in one day to give away to local food banks, schools, soup kitchens, and shelters. The 200 volunteers in Greenville were honoring the legacy of Eugenia Duke, a local woman who bucked every norm 100 years ago to start a business on her own—and support soldiers in World War I.
In 1917, Eugenia Duke and her daughter Martha began selling homemade sandwiches for 10 cents each at Army canteens to make extra money for their family in Greenville during the war.
Her pimento cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise sandwiches were quite popular and she got so many requests from soldiers at nearby Camp Sevier that she started bottling her homemade mayo four years later. Duke’s Mayonnaise became a beloved condiment that is still sold on grocery shelves in much of the United States
The volunteers followed in Duke’s footsteps when she famously made 10,000 sandwiches in 1 day to support soldiers during World War 1. They used around one ton of homemade pimento and cheddar cheese salad to assemble 10,000 sandwiches inside the historic pavilion downtown which is the same location of the original Duke’s Mayonnaise factory.
The whole community helped out forming assembly lines and working tirelessly for six straight hours to hit the 10,000-sandwich goal. Meals on Wheels delivered the sandwiches, Loaves & Fishes distributed the food, and Duke’s provided 100 gallons of its famous sauce. Other local hospitality companies contributed equipment and manpower to VisitGreenvilleSC, which organized the entire operation. Together, they fed thousands with the gourmet sandwiches during this season of giving—all while honoring one of America’s earliest female entrepreneurs, Eugenia Duke.