I remember when I moved to California in 1981 with my brother and mother, we would sometimes go and get "government cheese" and I think powdered milk at the same time. Not many people I know have ever heard about government cheese. It didn't taste good, but it was edible and better than some of the cheap stuff at the stores. It melted very well and was good on hamburgers or as grilled cheese. It kinda had the consistency of Velveeta.
The cheese came in 5lb bricks and I remember that they were distributed out of a large truck. It was part of a food program that stemmed from dairy subsidies and stockpiling for disasters. President Reagan ordered the cheese to be distributed in 1981 as part as a Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program. I think you either had to be low income or part of a food co-op, like SHARE, to get the cheese, but I don't remember. I think they may have given it to anyone who wanted one, but only one per family and only once a month.
I know that the cheese was welcome in our household at that time, but we soon got bored of eating it. By then, they had stopped distributing it and we missed it.
I found a great article on government cheese here: WTF Happened to Government Cheese?
So, who remembers government cheese? Did you eat it, too?
Sorry I couldn't get a picture of any blocks of government cheese. It was so long ago, before digital cameras and everything.