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Community recreates legacy of woman who made 10,000 sandwiches in 1 day for WW-I soldiers

They followed Eugenia Duke's original recipe of bacon, pimento cheese, tomato, and mayonnaise for the sandwiches.

Community recreates legacy of woman who made 10,000 sandwiches in 1 day for WW-I soldiers
Cover Image Source: Facebook | City of Greenville, South Carolina Government

A generous South Carolina community came together this month to make 10,000 sandwiches in one day to provide them to local food banks, schools, soup kitchens, and shelters, on National Sandwich Day.

There was another special reason to do it. It was to honor the legacy of Eugenia Duke, a local woman who herself made 10,000 sandwiches in a day to help soldiers during World War I.


In 1917, Duke went against the norm to start her own business and support soldiers. According to Good News Network, Duke and her daughter started selling homemade sandwiches just for 10 cents each at Army canteens to make extra money for their family in Greenville during the war. She made delicious pimento cheese, bacon, tomato, and mayonnaise sandwiches which became so popular, she even received several requests from soldiers at nearby Camp Sevier. Four years later, she started to sell her homemade mayo in bottles. 

It was so popular back then that even today, Duke's Mayonnaise is being sold in many grocery stores across the country.


As a tribute to her, the South Carolina community put together one tonne of homemade pimento and cheddar cheese salad to make 10,000 sandwiches inside the historic pavilion downtown. "This was actually the Duke's Mayonnaise factory at one point in time and there's this legend that in 1919 she made 10,000 sandwiches to sell to the soldiers and their families in one day. So we're just not trying to sell them today, we're trying to make 10,000 sandwiches to honor that legacy and give them away to those who need it most," Taryn Scher, a public relations spokesperson for VisitGreenville SC, told WYFF News 4.


Reportedly, the whole community helped out with different tasks. Meals on Wheels delivered the sandwiches, Loaves and Fishes distributed the food, and Duke's provided 100 gallons of its famous sauce. That was not it. The local hospitality companies provided equipment and manpower to VisitGreenvilleSC, which organized the entire operation. The different stations set up at the venue each handled a variety of duties, including getting the bread, scooping the cheese, and the final seal of the nutrition sticker.

The more amazing part is that they followed Eugenia's original recipe of Bacon, Pimento Cheese, and Tomato Sandwich. 

The Good Samaritans helped in the process by forming assembly lines and working for six hours to reach the 10,000 sandwich mark to feed thousands of Greenvillians.  


The event was organized by Feed and Seed in collaboration with Visit Greenville SC. The food and safety team had begun preparing a plan of action for the event over a month ago. The whole idea was to provide food to people who have food insecurity. "It's important as an organization to think about those who live here and may not have all of all of those things and all those resources and just do something good for them too and take some time out of our busy lives to do that," Scher said. 

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