The White House Garden Yields More Than Just Produce

October 06, 2016

Healthy Schools Campaign board member Kelly Dettmann joined First Lady Michelle Obama, healthy food advocates and food industry leaders yesterday at the White House gardens for a Let’s Move event. At the event, a larger and more permanent garden was unveiled, making it clear that the iconic White House garden is here to stay.

Event attendees toured the gardens and listened to the First Lady speak as she thanked all of the organizations that helped Let’s Move accomplish its lofty goals. “I take great pride in knowing that this little garden will live on as a symbol of the hopes and dreams we all hold of growing a healthier nation for our children,” Michelle Obama said. “I am hopeful that future first families will cherish this garden like we have.”

She pointed out just how far we’ve come in the time since the first vegetable was planted in the garden in 2009. “Who would have thought that chain restaurants focused solely on salad would be the hottest new trend, or that those fitness bracelets would be so common that we wouldn’t even notice them any longer, or that Kwik Trip would sell an average of 400 pounds of bananas per store per day, or that we’d take it for granted that we can get apples and skim milk in kids’ meals at fast food places,” she said.

She also thanked Donna Martin, the Director School Nutrition Program at Burke County Board of Education, for finding a way to make school food healthier by baking chicken instead of frying it and using whole wheat pizza crust. “And I have to tell you, we visited some of those schools. Those kids were cleaning their plates. We were cleaning our plates. It was the only school I’ve ever gone to where the staff was trying to get Styrofoam takeout to eat lunch on the plane,” Michelle Obama said.

The First Lady expressed that her work on the issue of healthy food and physical activity for America’s children will not stop when she leaves the White House and that she will continue this work for the rest of her life.

“We are so thankful for the First Lady’s leadership,” said Rochelle Davis, HSC President and CEO. “We will also continue the effort to promote healthy food and physical activity in schools.”

“It was an honor to participate in these festivities,” said Dettmann. “As a board member, I am so proud of HSC’s work to promote healthy food and physical activity in schools”

There was a strong feeling of togetherness, and also a sense that there is more work to do. It was an incredible and inspiring day and we are proud to have been a part of it!