Michelle Obama photo

Remarks by the First Lady at a Miriam's Kitchen Event

March 05, 2009

MRS. OBAMA: Thank you, guys. Thanks so much. I am not going to talk long. My purpose here was to listen, learn and to scoop some risotto. (Laughter.) And hopefully everybody was satisfied with my scoops. (Laughter.) Can I hear something for my scoops? (Laughter and applause.)

I just want to --

Q: -- seconds! (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: I just want to reiterate what Scott said. We are facing some tough times in this country, and there is a moment in time when each and every one of us needs a helping hand. Miriam's Kitchen has become a place where so many people have been able to find that helping hand, and we have to -- I want to, on behalf of the White House and the administration, thank the staff and the volunteers of the Miriam Kitchen for their focused work over the past 26 years, providing a home for their guests; folks who represent all of the best that this country has to offer. Their work here has meant the world to so many, and it is an example of what we can do as a country and as a community to help folks when they're down.

That's why I want to urge people who are listening that if you have an opportunity, to come by -- not just this soup kitchen but any soup kitchen in your community. And helping is an easy thing to do. Collect some fruits and vegetables. Bring by some good healthy food. You know, we want to make sure that our guests here and across this country are eating nutritious items. Today we had fresh risotto with mushrooms. We had broccoli. We had fresh baked muffins with carrots in it.

And my understanding is that this facility is able to provide that kind of meal for about $1.50. And that's an incredible thing to remember: that we can provide this kind of healthy food for communities across this country, and we can do it by each of us lending a hand. So we did it at the White House, and we're urging people around the country to do it in their communities.

And if you don't have items that you can donate, then you have yourself. Back in the kitchen I served food with six or seven volunteers who were here pouring their blood, sweat and tears into preparing the food and serving it. There are people all across the country even in these times who can lend a hand and volunteer at a soup kitchen, even if they don't have the resources to donate.

So we're all going to need one another in these times. We're going to need to keep lifting each other up in prayer and in hope. This has been an honor for me to be with all of you. We're going to continue to be a part of Miriam's Kitchen and other facilities just like this across the country. And we urge everyone within listening ear, within the sound of my voice, to think about ways they can become involved, too.

So again I want to thank you all. Enjoy your lunch, and we'll see you soon. Thanks so much. (Applause.)

Michelle Obama, Remarks by the First Lady at a Miriam's Kitchen Event Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/320260

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