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Gov't Cheese, Where is it?

I am trying to find out where I can get those blocks of government cheese. We always used it in my household growing up. We were on welfare from 1976 til my dad started working for the City of Philadelphia, around 1983. I remember my mom's famous Mac-N-Cheese. It was always requested in all family functions.

Anyway, Since then we have tried different blends of cheeses, but just can't get that combination of consistency, texture and taste at the same time. Usually we get 2 out of 3 (real mac-n-cheese cooks know what I mean!) We live in Philadelphia, but will travel the state to gett some.

Can anyone give us a clue? I would love to get my mom some to make just this last time, as my mom is getting on in years, and is not in the best of health. She would love this, though.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


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  1. My mom worked at a senior citizen center in the eightys and she would bring home leftover boxes of it. I would try calling some of them and see if they have a food program for the members there. They are all over bucks county

    1 Reply
    1. re: phatboy

      Thanks phatboy. I really appreciate it.

    2. I worked for a community org called West Oak Lane Concerned citizens in the 80s and we gave it out there. I don't know if they still exist, but you might try them. I also know that my mother-in-law occasionally gets govt cheese from her Senior Center in NE Philly, so you might try that angle. Maybe also try the main city switchboard MU6-1776 and ask where you can get some.

      2 Replies
      1. re: joyceo

        Brick cheese. Try a restaurant supply house or the web.

        1. re: joyceo

          I enjoy food as much as anyone here, but do you really want to bother a non-profit just b/c you have the mac n cheese munchies? I think the non-profit has other more important concerns to worry about.

          Note: Sorry if this comes out as out of line - it's the first day back from vaca.

        2. Man, that stuff makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches. I haven't had one since the 80's. Sorry I don't have and more info for you - just stopping by to commiserate.

          1. jeez, this brings back memories! oh, the things i could do with gov't potato flakes!

            1. I'm pretty sure that they don't create the gov't cheese of your memory anymore. It was a blend of many different cheeses and was part of reagan's policies. Rumor has it that bush has talked about reviving the surplus cheese program.

              1. i dont think you can get that if i read the wikipedia page right, but here is the nutritional and product info for your nostalgia

                1. Given the specs for the cheese, I can't imagine it could taste the same since it can be a blend of different styles and doesn't have to be consistent from batch to batch.

                  I do recall once tasting some from a block of cheese like you are talking about, but I was probably about 10 or 12 at the time and don't remember anything great about it. One of my uncles had gotten a block, I think.

                  1. oh man, i remember my great aunt used to get gov't cheese from her senior center. it was so processed and SO good. Good luck in your search.

                    1. Oh man, yeah I remember that stuff. We used to call it "Reagan Cheese."

                      If I recall, it had the taste of a very mild cheddar. Not bad actually.

                      1. Probably Velveeta is the closest commercial substitute. It's a lot softer, but once it's melted the flavor is kind of similar.

                        Maybe if the dairy lobbies give Bush some love, he'll re-institute the program before leaving office.