A fired-up Michelle Obama is defending the nutrition programs she advanced as first lady, saying something is “wrong” when the government doesn’t want kids to eat healthy meals.
In a speech Friday to the Partnerships for a Healthier America conference, Obama did not mention Trump by name but took issue with changes his administration announced last week to ease some of the school nutrition standards she advanced.
“We gotta make sure we don’t let anybody take us back,” the former first lady said. “You have to stop and think, why don’t you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you? And why is that a partisan issue?”
“Take me out of the equation — like me or don’t like me,” she added. “But think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap. Why would you celebrate that? Why would you sit idly and be okay with that? Because here’s the secret: If somebody is doing that, they don’t care about your kid.”
The comments marked the first time Obama has weighed in on the Trump administration’s changes to the nutrition policies she helped champion.
On May 1, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the changes, which ease rules on whole grains required in school lunch meals and delay a requirement for further reductions in sodium.
Perdue said the changes were needed to give local programs more flexibility to provide meals that children want to eat. “If kids aren’t eating the food, and it’s ending up in the trash, they aren’t getting any nutrition,” he said in a statement announcing the rollbacks.