We know that every day across this country, parents are working as hard as they can to make healthy choices for their kids. Schools are doing everything possible to provide the nutritious food they need to thrive. Communities are coming together to help our young people lead healthier lives right from the beginning. And it’s time that we made that work a little bit easier.
So these folks are fulfilling their responsibilities to our kids. This legislation helps ensure that we fulfill our responsibilities as well.
Shortly after signing the first law establishing school lunches, Harry Truman said that “Nothing is more important in our national life than the welfare of our children, and proper nourishment comes first in attaining this welfare.”
So today, I’m very proud to sign this bill that continues that legacy. Not only am I very proud of the bill, but had I not been able to get this passed, I would be sleeping on the couch. (Laughter and applause.)
So now I am -- now I am very proud to introduce somebody who’s done so much to shine a light on these critical issues related to childhood nutrition and obesity and exercise: America’s First Lady, my First Lady, Michelle Obama. (Applause.)
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you all, thanks so much, and good morning.
AUDIENCE: Good morning.
MRS. OBAMA: And thank you, Mr. President -- (laughter) -- for that very kind introduction. And all kidding aside, my husband worked very hard to make sure that this bill was a priority in this session. And I am grateful to you.
THE PRESIDENT: Because I would have been sleeping on the couch. (Laughter.)
MRS. OBAMA: But I am thrilled to be here -- we won’t go into that. (Laughter.) Let’s just say it got done, so we don’t have to go down that road. (Laughter.)
But I am thrilled to be here with all of you today as my husband signs the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act into law.
Now, usually, we hold these bill signings in the White House. But we felt it was important to do this one right here at Tubman Elementary because we wanted to share this moment with our partners -- with the students, the parents, the teachers, the community leaders, like all of you here, who have been so instrumental.
Our White House chefs have worked closely with educators at this school, and they’ve seen your commitment to serving high-quality school meals to all of your students. I’ve worked side by side with kids from this school, as well as from Bancroft Elementary School, to harvest our White House garden. We couldn’t have done it without all our students helping us. And I saw how hard they worked, and I also saw how brave they were to try vegetables that many of them never even heard of, so -- (laughter) -- and I also understand that there are students from Murch Elementary School who are here today as well, and we all had just a great time last spring working up a sweat and exercising and playing on the South Lawn of the White House.
So with everything that all of you are doing to give these children a healthy start in life, you are fulfilling the mission of this legislation every single day. That’s why we’re here. So I want to thank you all, all of our partners, for what you’ve done, not just in hosting us here today but in making sure that we’re doing the right thing by our kids.
I also want to echo my husband’s thanks to leaders and members of Congress, many of whom are on the stage, many of whom are not and are down here, and you all have done just a tremendous thing in making this day possible. As he said, this was truly a bipartisan effort, with passionate supporters from both parties putting in late nights and long weekends, working around the clock to make sure that this bill got passed, because while we may sometimes have our differences, we can all agree that in the United States of America, no child should go to school hungry.
We can all agree -- (applause) -- we can all agree that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow and to pursue their dreams, because in the end, nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing. And our hopes for their future should drive every single decision that we make.
These are the basic values that we all share, regardless of race, party, religion. This is what we share. These are the values that this bill embodies（体现） . And that’s why we’ve seen such a groundswell（海啸， 经典英语短文，地隆） of support for these efforts –- not just from members of Congress here in Washington, but from folks in every corner of the country. It’s been beautiful to see.
From educators working to provide healthier school meals, because they know the connection between proper nutrition and academic performance.
From doctors and nurses who know that unhealthy kids grow into unhealthy adults –- at risk for obesity-related diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer.
From business and labor leaders who know that we spend nearly $150 billion a year to treat these diseases and who worry about the impact on our economy.