It didn’t go over well. The most cutting remark at the time was mockingly attributed to Nancy Reagan as, “Let them eat cheese.”
The truth of the matter was that surplus commodity items in storage were not really good.
From the essential book of the Reagan Era, The Clothes Have No Emperor:
As Christmas approaches, President Reagan authorizes the distribution of 30 million pounds of surplus cheese to the poor. According to a government official, the cheese is well over a year old and has reached “critical inventory situation.” Translation: it’s moldy.”
Excerpt From: Paul Slansky. “The Clothes Have No Emperor.”
Now, I don’t know if times have changed enough that the cheese is less moldy, but I somehow doubt it. And the essential thing to consider is that this is just like the alleged ACA Death Panels, only with Republicans telling people what to eat, for Freedom! Getting between the people and the grocer.
The other thing to consider is that someone, somewhere, is going to be making a buck off of selling low quality canned goods to the government. Look for a Republican donor to get a no-bid contract if this comes to pass.