Washington, DC – First Lady Michelle Obama today (May 7) attended her second book signing in a year as her first book, “American Grown,” has been in print for nearly a year, but she explained, “If you recall, when the book came out we were in the middle of this campaign, or something or other. So we were a little busy.”
Addressing a crowd of more than two hundred along with a handful of journalists and TV cameras packed into a Washington DC book store, the first lady advised, “So buy away – it’s Mother’s Day,” as people laughed. “I would say that I was going to give this as a gift to my mother, but she already has, like, 10 copies. But I might buy her another one just for the heck of it.”
Several Indian Americans were present at the Politics and Prose book store event, and one young woman told India America Today that she was attending, because, “I adore her. She is the real power behind the president (President Barack Obama),” adding that the First Lady is very inspiring to her.
“The truth is, the idea of the White House garden is not unique,” Mrs. Obama told the audience waiting for her to sign their books. “Community gardens are a mainstay in so many communities across this country, from rural America to my neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.”
Tackling the problem of childhood obesity by introducing healthy foods to children and their families is one of the goals of the First Lady’s initiative, “Let’s Move,” and she noted that this was one of the reasons she wrote the book.
“The garden was really a way to begin this conversation about how do we educate our children about the food they eat and how it impacts their body and how all of that affects their health,” she said.
Another important reason for writing the book was to bring to the public an intimate portrait of the garden. “If you visit the White House along the South Lawn, you can see the garden from outside of the White House,” she said, adding, “But millions of people don’t get a chance to come to Washington. They hear about the garden; they don’t get an opportunity to see it.”
“So we wanted to use this as an opportunity to tell people about how we started it and how we thought about it, who all is involved, what kind of role Bo plays – he’s a very significant part of the book,” the First Lady said.
The funds from the sale of the book are set to benefit similar garden projects across the US, Mrs. Obama told the applauding audience. “All the proceeds – 100 percent of them – go to the National Park Foundation, which is really critical,” she said. Those funds are going to help support the White House Kitchen Garden and other community gardens across this country.”
Lacey Dunham, Director of Marketing for Politics and Prose, was thrilled to be hosting the event. “We are honored to have First Lady Michelle Obama coming to Politics and Prose Bookstore today. It is the first time a sitting first lady has visited us and we are pleased she chose us as the place to sign her book.”
The coffee table-style book offers a look at the first kitchen garden created at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s World War II-era victory garden. The colorful vegetable patch on the South Lawn has attracted global attention to the First Lady and her ongoing efforts to foster fitness in America through healthy eating. The book includes stories of Americans around the country who are engaged in community, school and urban gardens.