One Good Deed Deserves More Cheese

Shawn O’Connell, Weavers Way Mt. Airy Deli Manager


We’ll be sampling Abundantly Good Cheese:

  • At the Mt. Airy store on Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • At the Chestnut Hill store on Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
  • At the Ambler store on Friday, Sept. 14, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

AND . . . Abundantly Good Cheddar will be on sale for the entire month of September at $5.99 for an 8-ounce block. 

Good food that does good is exactly what we love to offer to our shoppers at the Co-op. After much anticipation, Abundantly Good Cheese is on our shelves! We’re thrilled about being one of a selected few retail venues where you can buy this cheese — an “adjacent brand” of Philabundance. 

It is a brilliant solution to fight hunger and food waste — and the cheese is really good! 

Here’s how it works:

With declining demand for milk, dairy farmers in Lancaster County (and all over Pennsylvania) often have surplus milk that they end up discarding. Meanwhile, the communities and individuals that the hunger-relief nonprofit Philabundance has served for more than 30 years are in need. 

Milk has a pretty short shelf life — but cheese is another matter. One solution: Upcycle perfectly good surplus milk (good for only 21 days) into cheese (good for six months to a year, and easier to ship and store). 

What’s the Abundantly Good brand got to do with it? This artisanal, raw milk cheese is made by Philabundance’s Lancaster County cheesemaking partners for retail sale. For each pound sold, $1 goes to buy surplus milk and pay the same cheesemakers to make Colby and cheddar cheese for free distribution.

The free cheese and the Abundantly Good product — which Weavers Way carries in all three stores — are essentially the same, although the retail cheese comes in more flavors — jalapeño, smoked Colby and horseradish cheddar in addition to plain Colby and cheddar.

Philabundance hopes to grow the program with additional Abundantly Good products, supporting the upcycling of even more perishable foods. 

In a country where we have such a sickening amount of food waste while people go hungry, this is what we need and more of it. It benefits those in need, plus farmers struggling to deal with today’s volatile mile markets, as well as giving consumers a way to help the cause by purchasing cheese. 

And the cheese! It’s very good! My favorite is the smoked Colby. It has just the right amount of smoky flavor and the texture is luscious, smooth and creamy, great to use for cooking or on a cheese board. I presented it alongside several other local cheeses and meats at an al fresco dinner last month at Weavers Way Farm at Saul High School. It was a big hit and a wonderful way to introduce a product with a conscience to our community.

(See photos of the dinner here.)

Glenn Bergman, our friend, former general manager and current executive director of Philabundance was there, so I was especially proud to be able to have Abundantly Good cheese on the cheese board!

Upcycling is something we can all aspire to with the food we buy or grow. In our homes and in our businesses, we can always do something to be less wasteful. Figure out a way to give food a new or extended life. Cook. Can. Make soup. Use the freezer. You CAN pickle that! 

Buy cheese and be part of the solution!