General Question

ava's avatar

What exactly is government cheese? And, where would one purchase or find it?

Asked by ava (971 points ) March 16th, 2008 from iPhone

Just wondering

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13 Answers

Riser's avatar

“Government cheese” is now a slang term for any food purchased with government supplied food stamps. It got its name because the government used to supply blocks of pre-sliced cheese to welfare recipients and during world war two most soldiers were fed this same pasteurized cheese that was only required to “meet” the USDA standard for dairy products. : /

and you can purchase this same “quality” cheese with any unlabeled (non-branded) pre-sliced American cheese.

hairypalm's avatar

also slang for getting everything “benefits” you can while you are in the military. I know I try.

jz1220's avatar

My grandma lives alone and used to receive all types of government food (peanut butter, farina, canned orange juice, etc.), including blocks of cheese, in the early-mid 90s. I’ve had the privilege of tasting this cheese… it’s not that bad.

bulbatron9's avatar

Welfare Check

bulbatron9's avatar

The Ol’ Dirty Bastard (R.I.P.) once said, “I got mills (millions), but still get that ol’ good welfare cheese. Hoooooooo get paaaaaaaaid.” Her is a you tube clip of him cashing a welfare check (government cheese) in a limo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkNMxl7ziow

Spargett's avatar

As a child, I grew up living in a welfare home. We use to get a box of food from social services once or twice a week. It would be full of government/state produced goods, “day old” breads from grocery stores, and other goods that were past their “recomended expiration date” or otherwise unsellable i.e. dented Pringles cans, etc.

Fortunatly I’ve worked very hard as an adult to leave that far in the past, and I’ll make sure that’s something my children will never have to experience to my laziness, stupidity, or addictions that are usually behind welfare.

scamp's avatar

@Spargett I’m so happy to hear you were able to overcome the poverty of your youth. It’s truly something to be proud of.

There was a period of time when we got the same staples you referred to above . My wasband wasn’t able to work due to a back injury, so we had to skimp and scrounge until I could find work. I remember the cheese. It was really pretty good. It came packaged as a 5 lb rectangle, and made really good grilled cheese sandwiches.

Spargett's avatar

@scamp

Thank you. It’s nice to know that there are services available for people who are really down on their luck (as your story was). It’s just a shame there are far more who leech and bring such a bad name to the services.

I think one of the greatest things is the fact that they put food stamps in an electronic, debt card format. The “cash” system was pretty much worthless considering how often people would sell them (2/1) for cash to buy cigarettes/alcohol, etc.

scamp's avatar

The cards help, but where there is a will to cheat, the cheaters will find a way. Now they just re- sell the food, or exchange it with their friends to get what they want. I could go on and on about this subject, but I’m getting off topic.

trainerboy's avatar

Govenment cheese is a term used for any government program that has no purpose other than to enrich some congressperson and some contractor in their district. It is a slang for “waste” or abuse of taxpayers money!!! Hence, about 90% of governemnt spending is cheese and that is why the surplus. Maybe if there wasn’t so much “cheese” those who think they need the government for “cheese” would find opportunity to create their own cheese.

okc405's avatar

government cheese makes the best grilled cheese sammiches!

The_unconservative_one's avatar

@Riser The cheese wasn’t pre-sliced. It was a solid 5 pound rectangular block.

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