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Hispanic Community Joins Mrs. Obama in Nutrition Campaign

By Charlene Porter | Staff Writer | 27 January 2012
Mrs. Obama at podium with bins of fruits and vegetables and shelves of canned goods in background (AP Images)

Michelle Obama speaks for better health and nutrition at a Latin market in Florida. Goya Foods, specializing in products for Hispanic tastes, is supporting her initiative.

Washington — First lady Michelle Obama has recruited prominent businesses and community organizations in the United States’ largest minority community to join her “Let’s Move” campaign, advocating better health, better nutrition and more activity for young people.

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, is heaping its support on the cause, producing a plate full of brochures, posters, coupons and cookbooks for distribution to consumers with advice about healthy cooking and smart meal preparation. Nutritionists might use stacks of books to explain healthy diets, but “Let’s Move” makes it really simple — fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, and the other half with lean, low-fat proteins and whole grains.

“That’s really what ‘Mi Plato’ [My Plate] is all about,” Obama said January 26 at a Tampa, Florida, event announcing the collaboration. “It’s a framework that any family can use — any family. Any culture can interpret the plate in a way that is true to their traditions.”

Goya will be using the “Mi Plato” logo on its product line of beans, chickpeas, condiments and beverages appealing to Hispanic tastes.

“For Goya, ‘Mi Plato’ is an ideal reflection of our product line: quality, flavor, healthy and nutritious,” said Bob Unanue, Goya’s president, “while offering guidance to the public to easily identify the basic food groups of vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins and dairy.” Unanue was with Obama at the Tampa event, held in a supermarket catering to Hispanic customers.

Goya has also developed comprehensive lesson plans for 4th- through 6th-grade students, and will distribute these to schools in six major U.S. cities.

Goya is joined in support of “Mi Plato” and “Let’s Move” by a long list of other Hispanic organizations, including the League of United Latin America Citizens, with 850 councils; the National Council of La Raza, with 300 affiliates; the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and others.

“That’s what this initiative is all about,” said Obama. “It’s about folks from every single sector of our society stepping up and coming together on behalf of our kids.” The first lady said other major companies, like retailers and broadcasters, have also signed on to “Let’s Move” to modify their products to help improve the health of young people.

(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/iipdigital-en/index.html)