Michelle Obama’s charity Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) hosted its 10th-anniversary summit online amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, one of the event's strategic partners was plant-based meat producer Beyond Meat. Ethan Brown, the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, and NBA player Chris Paul—one of the brand's ambassadors, were the keynote speakers during the event.
The online summit featured discussion panels about the importance of a healthy plant-based diet.
The former first lady founded PHA in 2010 with the mission of improving the health of American kids through diet and exercise.
PHA’s new initiative, Shaping Early Palates aims to raise awareness of the health benefits of vegetables and fruits among kids.
“I could not be prouder of, or more energized by, everything we have achieved together to help all of our children lead healthier lives,” Obama said.
PHA has also launched COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund to help transform the food landscape. The initiative aims to use fruits and vegetables to improve the health of those in need during and after the COVID-19 pandemic while creating economic opportunity and reducing food waste.
The fund will distribute fresh produce to impoverished communities through a partnership with the Produce Marketing Association (PMA). PMA will deliver hundreds of thousands of servings of high-quality, fresh produce that would have otherwise been wasted.
“Since its founding alongside Former First Lady Michelle Obama, the Partnership for a Healthier America has taken bold steps to bend the arc of our nation’s trends on obesity and diet-related diseases. The backdrop of COVID-19 highlights the importance of eradicating the risks associated with diet-related disease more than ever,” said Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO, PHA.
“At a time when many Americans are experiencing hunger due to economic uncertainties and access issues caused by the COVID-19 crisis, PMA and its members believe it is unconscionable to allow fresh fruits and vegetables to go to waste,” said Cathy Burns, CEO of PMA.
“Filling people’s bodies with nourishing food and strengthening their immune systems is always important, especially now. The COVID-19 Fresh Food Fund represents a huge opportunity for public and private collaboration to address the critical issues of access, food waste, and food insecurity as we improve the health and wellness of the communities we serve,” she added.
Last month, Beyond Meat launched the Feed A Million+ campaign to donate over one million Beyond Burgers to those in need during the pandemic. The campaign is supported by rapper Snoop Dogg, NBA star Kyrie Irving and comedian Kevin Hart, among others.