Friday First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the first “Kids State Dinner” in the East Room of the White House, which treated the 54 children who won a nationwide healthy meal recipe contest sponsored by the food magazine Epicurious and the Education and Agriculture departments to a state dinner.
The first lady told the kid chefs from each state, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories, “I need you guys to make your voices heard,” because, she explained, “folks in Congress [are] trying to undo some of the progress that we’ve made to get healthier food into our schools.”
Making the case that “certain interests” are trying to profit from destroying her school lunch program, Mrs. Obama said, “There’s a lot of money involved in feeding our kids at school. We are currently spending $10 billion a year — did you hear that, $10 billion a year — on our school lunch programs. So it’s not surprising that there are certain interests that are resisting change and trying to take us back to the old ways of doing business, because for them there’s a lot of money is on the line. But you all have a right to expect that your hard-earned tax dollars will be spent on food that meets basic nutrition standards. It’s as simple as that.”
The first lady concluded, “Because when you are working so hard to prepare nutritious foods at home, I know that you don’t want all that work undone when you send your kids off to school and they’re eating in the lunchroom. So we can’t afford to stay silent on this issue, because if we do we’re going to wind up right back where we started. And that’s not acceptable.”
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