Thursday, January 26, 2012

Michelle Obama Unveils Major Commitment For Let's Move! And MiPlato From Goya Foods

Largest Hispanic-owned US food company will create cookbook and partner with Latino organizations to promote nutrition initiatives...
In Tampa, Florida on Thursday morning, First Lady Michelle Obama visited the National Supermarket to announce a major new commitment from Goya Foods to join the Let's Move! campaign and promote USDA's MiPlato campaign, the Spanish language version of the MyPlate campaign. Goya is the largest Hispanic-owned U.S. food company, and president Bob Unanue joined Mrs. Obama for the announcement, which took place in the produce department before a large audience seated in the supermarket aisles. (Above: Mrs. Obama speaking as Aimee Busquette and Unanue look on)

Hailing the importance of the partnership, the First Lady noted the prevalence of obesity in Hispanic communities.

"The Hispanic communities face unique challenges," Mrs. Obama said. "While one in three kids in America are overweight or obese, we know that in Hispanic community, it’s nearly two in five -- two in five."

Partners in the major promotional effort, which will include putting the MiPlato graphic on Goya bean products, an education campaign for 4th-6th graders, and Goya's official MiPlato cookbook, include the Girl Scouts and Latino community and faith-based organizations. Below, the news release with all the information from the White House. Mrs. Obama will attend two Democratic National Committee fundraisers in Palm Beach and Sarasota before returning to Washington today.

*The full transcript of Mrs. Obama's remarks.

From the White House:

Tampa, Florida - In support of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, Goya Foods, the largest, Hispanic-owned U.S. food company, is committing resources to promote the USDA's MyPlate, or MiPlato, a new food group symbol to remind families about making healthy meal choices with easy “how-tos” about proper portions. Mrs. Obama joined Bob Unanue, President of Goya Foods, and leading Latino organizations to promote their nationwide effort to encourage health and wellness in communities across the country. Goya Foods is rolling out numerous steps to help communities enjoy healthy, tasty and affordable meals including creating brochures, posters, coupons and cookbooks for consumers; developing educational tools for 4th through 6th grade students across the country; and imprinting the MiPlato icon on some of their products.

“Today’s announcement is what Let’s Move! is really all about – folks from every sector of our society stepping up and coming together on behalf of our kids. One of the pillars of Let’s Move! is empowering parents with the information they need to make healthy choices. MiPlato is a tool to help support families in that effort. Today, Goya is utilizing their incredible reach into communities across the country to get this helpful information to the hand of parents,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Everything that Goya is doing – from the MiPlato posters and pamphlets to cookbooks and recipes – center around the idea that we parents can make simple changes to help their children lead healthier lives.”

“For Goya, MiPlato is an ideal reflection of our product line; quality, flavor, healthy and nutritious; while offering guidance to the public to easily identify the basic food groups of vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins, and dairy,” said Bob Unanue, president of Goya Food.

Community organizations from Florida to California have shown their support of Let’s Move! with commitments to promote MiPlato and distribute the Goya-produced materials through local churches, food pantries, promotores (community health workers) networks, registered dietitians, and schools. (Above: A longshot of Unanou speaking as Mrs. Obama looks on)

Some of the many organizations include the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, which will distribute materials at its Nuestro Futuro rallies across the country, and the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger, which is working with New Mexico’s state social services and statewide food bank to ensure New Mexico’s families receive materials. The booklets will also be distributed through food bank members of Feeding America in Texas, Florida, Arizona, New York, and California. In Tampa, the Girl Scouts of the USA has committed to promote MiPlato to Tampa-area Girl Scouts through the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Several organizations have also joined USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion’s Nutrition Communicators Network as a Community Partner.

Goya Foods will collaborate with Let's Move! and USDA in the following ways:

*A Goya-produced brochure featuring a series of recipes that meet the Dietary Guidelines that support MiPlato and ten tips for healthy eating. The Goya sales force will offer these brochures to 32,000 supermarkets to distribute in their communities.

*Goya will print MiPlato posters for distribution in various supermarkets and grocery stores.

*Goya will produce brochures with a Goya savings coupon that will be distributed to a variety of national Hispanic associations and organizations at the various festivals and events that Goya sponsors throughout the year.

*In the spring, Goya will launch the official MiPlato cookbook and distribute copies to their consumers.

*Goya developed comprehensive lesson plans for 4th through 6th grade students using beans as education characters, and will distribute these to elementary schools in six major cities including New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami and Tampa.

*The MiPlato icon will be printed on six different Goya products including black beans, pinto beans, white beans, chick peas, red kidney beans and the sazón Goya natural and complete.

The following Latino organizations have joined this effort:

ACTIVE Life
American Cancer Society
California Food Policy Advocates
Catholic Charities Philadelphia
Cuban American National Council (CNC)
Feeding America
San Antonio Food Bank (Feeding America)
Treasure Coast Food Bank (Feeding America)
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance (Feeding America)
Island Harvest (Feeding America)
FIND Food Bank (Feeding America)
Florida Dietetic Association
Ferias (para Aprender/Fitness)
Girls Scouts of the USA
Help4Kidz Foundation
Hispanic Access Foundation
Hispanic Federation
La Clinica del Pueblo
LULAC and their 850 councils
National Caucus of State Elected Legislators
National Council of La Raza (NCLR) - 300 affiliates
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC)
New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger
New York City Coalition Against Hunger
Pacific Southwest Conference for the Evangelical Church
Cancer Preventorium
Seventh Day Adventist Church
South Florida Center for Reducing Cancer Disparities
St. Cajetan Catholic Church/Hispanic Access
St. Camillus Catholic Church
Texas Hunger Initiative
Texas Impact
Urban Strategies
Vision y Compromiso
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*Top photo by AP; second courtesy of Unidos Now