The White House
Office of the First Lady
Remarks by the First Lady Before White House Garden Harvest Event
State Dining Room
3:37 P.M. EDT
MRS. OBAMA: Hey, guys. (Applause.) Well, it’s good to have you here. I want to find out, first of all, how many kids were here for the planting? Was everybody here? Because I know I see some familiar faces and some new faces. And I promised you then that you were going to come back and we were going to harvest. Now, the weather isn’t as good as we wanted it to be, although Sam thinks we still should be outside. But I just wanted to make sure that no one was struck by lightning, so we’re inside today.
So you guys went out to the garden, right? You got to see it before coming in. Didn't it look really different from what it looked like when you planted it? You see how much those vegetables have grown? It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
And I’ve been looking after it. I’ve been going down there every night after dinner with the dogs and with the President, and we’ve been making sure that everything is turning out okay. But you guys did an awesome job in helping us plant, so now we get to experience the fruits of our labor. So I’m really happy that you guys could come back. I’m really proud of you all. You all make our Kitchen Garden possible.
And you guys are the reason why we’re doing this. You see all these wonderful people up here, these leaders in nutrition, our Secretary of Agriculture who has made your school lunches possible? The reason we’re doing this, and the reason this First Lady is so passionate about these issues is because of these kids.
For millions of kids in this country, their main source of nutrition comes from the food that they get in their schools. And we are paying billions of dollars to invest in that food as taxpayers. And as a result, it’s up to us to make sure that these kids get the best food that they can get into their stomachs because it’s not just about nutrition, it’s about their academic success.
We know that kids who have nutritious foods, vegetables and fruits, they do better in school. They have better disciplinary outcomes. They have higher test scores. So we simply can't afford to say, oh, well, it’s too hard so let’s not do it.
And as this First Lady will tell you, I’m going to fight until the bitter end to make sure that every kid in this country continues to have the best nutrition that they can have in our schools, because these kids, all of these kids are worth it. And you’re going to see -- yes, indeed. (Applause.) They are absolutely worth it.
And you’re going to see firsthand what happens when kids are involved in the process. Because every time we harvest, we have kids who are enthusiastic about planting, harvesting, prepping and eating. There are ways to make this fun and interesting for kids, and it doesn't require being at the White House. This just happens to be a nice perk.
All of these schools have gardens of their own. All of these schools in this area are finding ways to incorporate healthy foods into their lunches. It is doable.
For the schools that are struggling, we have an entire agency who is ready to lend a hand to figure out how can we help you. But at the end, what we have to remember is that this fight is about our kids.
So are you guys ready to show these folks how to eat healthy, how to prepare food, and how to make a great salad, and that kids actually enjoy healthy food that's good for them? Are you guys ready to prove that point today?
MRS. OBAMA: Can we hear it? I can't hear you.
MRS. OBAMA: All right, well, let’s get started. Let’s move. Let’s get it done.
3:40 P.M. EDT