Since 1977, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regularly purchased surplus dairy products to protect the milk industry and dairy prices. Fresh milk, powdered milk, butter, and cheese were stockpiled in enormous quantities. By 1981, only a little more than one-quarter of U.S.-made cheese was purchased and USDA had no plan for the excess food. President Reagan seized the opportunity, giving a speech about so-called “government cheese” and announcing that those who lost their food stamps would be eligible to receive it through local charity organizations.
Galleries & Exhibits
- 11865-1925: Hunger in the Industrial City
- 21929-1940: America in Crisis and Recovery
- 31945-1965: WWII and the Paradoxes of the Postwar Era
- 41955-1980: The Fight for the Right to Food
- 51975-1996: The Unmaking of the Great Society
- 61997-Present: How It Is — And How It Should Be