The earliest reference to the diet of the paupers was that they be "fed on bread and milk until meal and potatoes are procured - that the adults get two meals a day - one pound (450g.) of bread and one pint (600ml.) of milk at each meal". Later when tenders for oatmeal and potatoes were accepted the following diet was settled on by the Board:

Adults: 7 ounces (192g.) of oatmeal and one pint (600ml.) of buttermilk for breakfast; 4 pounds (1k. 800g) of potatoes and one pint (600ml.) of buttermilk for dinner.

Children: They were to get half the quantity given to adults but would have pound (112g.) of bread and pint (300ml.) of buttermilk for supper.

Christmas dinner meant 1 pound (675g.) of beef per adult and pound (335g.) per child.

Eggs were given to infirm inmates only, although in the famine years they seem to have been given to all.

The most striking thing about the diet was its lack of variety and monotonous predictability.

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