The Great Depression was a time of widespread poverty and suffering in Newfoundland and Labrador. Steadily declining cod prices made it almost impossible for fishers to make a living, while wage cuts and layoffs plagued the forestry and mining industries. With thousands of men and women newly unemployed, the government was forced to spend heavily on relief programs. These, however, were often inadequate and left many people without enough food, clothing, and other necessities to properly support their families. Malnutrition became rampant and facilitated the spread of beriberi, tuberculosis and other diseases. --Introduction to accompanying article on website.