First Lady Michelle Obama was thinking of Sam Shihadeh and Rose Fakhoury when she challenged faith-based and community organizations to appoint wellness ambassadors. Sam, a personal trainer and council member of the Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church in Washington DC, and Rose, the Director of St. George’s Sunday School, joined forces to lead, organize and take action to improve health and wellness in their community. St. George Church hosted a Let’s Move! event on May 5th to get their community members eating healthy foods, moving and working to combat childhood obesity.
As a congregation inspired to fight obesity, the church practices what it preaches. The event kicked off with children racing through an outdoor obstacle course. During the day attendees heard from a diverse group of panelists such as doctors, personal trainers, and a registered dietitian, on the importance of leading a healthy life. I joined Paul Monteiro of the White House Office of Public Engagement to share more about the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. Read more »
Welcoming visitors to our Somos Uno: We’re One USDA booth
This past Saturday, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) participated in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the National Cinco de Mayo Festival® ¡Salud en Cinco de Mayo!, sponsored by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Maru Montero Dance Company. USDA partnered with LULAC, with whom we work on the recruitment of Hispanic professionals, promoting nutrition in the community, and on the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.
Along with other representatives of the federal government, our Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Ed Avalos, gave welcoming remarks and emphasized a message of cultural heritage and health during this celebration. Sam Kass, White House Chef and Senior Advisor Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives for the First Lady, was also present. Read more »
On my recent trip to Miami, Florida, I had the opportunity to hold a White House Business Council roundtable, hosted by the South Florida Hispanic chamber of Commerce. The roundtable discussion focused on challenges and accomplishments within the Hispanic community, including access to credit, broadband, small business, agricultural markets, plant pests, and community outreach.
While in Miami I was also invited to speak at the Latino Health and Wellness Expo in Miami. “La Exposicion de Salud” was well attended with over 800 participants. Read more »
I had the honor and pleasure to tour the Rosebud Sioux Nation in South Dakota. The vast land of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate is rich in natural resources.
Tribal leaders, with support from Sinte Gleska University, demonstrated interest and commitment in further planning and development of these resources in ways that continually improve quality of life, yet are respectful and mindful of their ancestral teachings and cultural traditions. Read more »
MRP Under Secretary Edward Avalos with Bob Pellegrino, Director of Marketing, Connecticut Department of Agriculture at the Billings Forge Farmers Market, Hartford, CT.
During my recent visit to Hartford, I toured the historic Billings Forge Farmers Market, which featured an assortment of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, baking foods, cheeses, meats and numerous other healthy foods. Located in a food desert, the market positively compliments the “Bodegas” by providing WIC eligible food products. Read more »
In June, President Obama established the Rural Council, which is chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. As a result, numerous rural roundtables have been held and will continue to be held throughout the country.
Revitalizing rural America is a priority to this Administration. The rural roundtables are an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input, identify challenges and make recommendations.
On my recent trip to the great state of Alabama, my USDA colleagues from Rural Development, Farm Services Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture supported me at a rural roundtable held in the community of Dothan. We had excellent attendance and constructive input from community leaders attending. Read more »