During the Great Depression, people lost their land or their jobs as tenant farmers. Drought, sand storms, and soil erosion (aka the Dust Bowl) added to their misery.
In search of a better life, farming families relocated to California by the thousands, often sheltering in makeshift conditions that raised public health concerns.
In response, the US government established a network of migrant camps that provided assistance and a sense of community. Other photos from this event show the children lining up for refreshments - in the form of sandwiches and punch. (Notice the cups a few of them are holding. This was a bring-your-own event.)
[American Memory link]
to locate this image, use search terms: halloween, party, shafter