Big Cheese—All the Presidents' Cheddar

Who could have imagined in the days of Jefferson and Jackson, that the twentieth century would see the advent of government cheese? Think they got rid of that in the Reagan administration? Nope: according to the Book of Wisdom,

On August 23, 2016, the US Department of Agriculture stated that it planned to purchase approximately eleven million pounds (5,000 t) of cheese, to give aid to food banks and food pantries from across the United States, cheese surplus that had been at its highest level in thirty years, and to stabilize farm prices. This purchase also added revenues for the dairy producers. Regarding the purchase, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need. USDA will continue to look for ways within its authorities to tackle food insecurity and provide for added stability in the marketplace.”

Currently, as part of the USDA Food Nutrition Service Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), eligible seniors over the age of 60 are provided one 32-ounce (910 g) block of processed cheese food each month, supplied by participating dairies.