Michelle Obama, Partnership for Healthier America bring food campaign to Detroit

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Partnership for a Healthier America, with its honorary chair Michelle Obama, announced Tuesday its "Pass the Love" campaign will deliver meals to families facing food insecurities in Detroit.

Over four weeks in July, 5,500 Detroit families will receive meal kits, with recipes and ingredients inspired by the Netflix series, "Waffles + Mochi." The Partnership for a Healthier America and Focus: HOPE plan to distribute 264,00 healthy meals to families in Detroit and a total of 1 million meals across the country.

Michigan residents have faced high rates of food insecurity since long before the pandemic when 1.3 million people in the state lacked access to nutritious food. COVID-19 has greatly exacerbated this problem, and now as many as 1.9 million individuals are estimated to be food insecure, according to a fall 2020 report from the Michigan Governor’s Food Security Council.

The Partnership for a Healthier America, with its honorary chair Michelle Obama, announced Tuesday its "Pass the Love" campaign will deliver meals like these to families facing food insecurities in Detroit.

The former first lady touted the partnership Tuesday on Twitter, saying she's "Thrilled to announce that Detroit will be our latest partner city."

“We’ll be distributing healthy meal kits there soon, and with your help, we can reach even more families in need. I hope you’ll donate at WafflesAndMochi.org," Obama tweeted.

The producers of the Netflix series "Chef’s Table," as well as "Salt Fat Acid Heat," and "Ugly Delicious," is also behind the food show with puppet characters Waffles and Mochi who travel the world learning about cuisine alongside Obama and television stars.

‘Pass the Love with Waffles + Mochi,’ campaign distributions began earlier this summer in Atlanta and Cleveland, with other additional cities to be announced.

Genuine Foods has sourced and assembled the meal kits to be given out over four weeks at Focus: Hope, located at 1400 Oakman Boulevard in Detroit

"I know this initiative will help many families experience the joy of cooking together, and I’m grateful that Focus: HOPE is able to play a role in distributing the meal kits to families throughout Metro Detroit," said Focus: HOPE CEO Portia Roberson.

The Partnership for a Healthier America was founded in 2010 during Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign and is a national nonprofit working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity.

“PHA is honored to be able to serve families through the ‘Pass the Love’ campaign in Detroit, as we seek to do our part to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity,” said Nancy Roman, the group's president and CEO. “Pass the Love is focused on creating access and exposure to affordable meal making for families, laying the groundwork for long-term shifts in attitudes and diet that benefit health.”