Former first lady Michelle Obama says an initiative she’s involved in will provide more than 100,000 nutritious meal kits to Fresno residents in need of healthy food.
She made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter.
I’m thrilled to share that we’ll soon be distributing healthy meal kits to families in Fresno as part of our Pass the Love campaign with @PHAnews!
We’re so close to reaching our goal of providing one million meals, but we need your support.
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) January 11, 2022
Pass the Love Campaign
Families might recognize Waffles and Mochi as the puppet pals who star in Netflix’s culinary children’s series of the same name alongside Obama.
Through the show, Obama started the Pass the Love campaign, which is raising funds to distribute 1 million meals to families in need nationwide, along with the nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America.
PHA says the campaign was inspired by the series, which tells the story of two puppet friends who “travel the world exploring the wonders of food and culture while learning how to cook with fresh ingredients.”
Watch: Michelle Obama Wants to Help Feed Families with ‘Waffles + Mochi’
PHA and its local partner, Central California Food Bank, will distribute 120,000 healthy meals to food-insecure Fresno families, The Fresno Bee’s Melissa Montalvo reported on Tuesday.
“We are grateful and honored to be chosen by Partnership for a Healthier America to join forces in educating and raising awareness about health and hunger in Central California,” Kym Dildine, co-CEO of Central California Food Bank, told The Bee. “We have seen a huge spike in need in our community and this partnership with the ‘Pass the Love w/ Waffles + Mochi’ campaign could not come at a better time.”
Campaign Began in Summer 2021
The food distributions are designed to bolster the capacity of local nonprofits to address food insecurity. The effort began last summer in cities such as Atlanta, Cleveland, and Philadelphia.
The hope of Obama and her partners is that the meal kits — with recipes that are fun, fast, and easy to replicate — will expose families to affordable meal-making and thus improve public health.
“Meal boxes that provide fresh food and a complete set of ingredients to households are one way to reduce the impact of these (pandemic) food access disruptions, and to get healthy meals on the table,” said Caitlin Caspi, a University of Connecticut professor who studies food insecurity.
(Associated Press contributed to this story.)