Yesterday I was honored to represent Delta at the first ever Kids’ State Dinner with First Lady Michelle Obama. Attendees were the child creators of winning recipes in the Epicurious Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. They were flown – most of them on Delta, of course – toWashington, DC for a very special meal at the White House. The menu featured dishes from the Lunchtime Challenge. You can view the menu and download recipes at LetsMove.gov.
As you might imagine, the attention to detail at this event was exceptional. The luncheon mirrored official State Dinners, from the formal introduction of each guest and the state they were representing to elaborate place settings with Presidential china. A phenomenal balloonist worked his magic and the U.S. Marine Band played while the children waited for the First Lady’s arrival. In the Dining Room, the centerpieces included edibles like sugar snap peas, artichokes and red raspberries. And, of course, the menu featured the winning recipes from the young chefs in attendance.
The 54 winners – one from each state andU.S.territory – were chosen from more than 1,200 entries. These young people came from varying backgrounds. For some, this was their first time away from their home state and for many it was their first time traveling on an airplane. One winner I spoke with entered the contest because she is battling obesity and her mom thought it would be a cool way to introduce her to different foods and healthy eating. Since learning she was a finalist, the girl had lost 3 lbs and hadn’t had soda or chips in weeks.
During the Dinner, I watched as every child tried everything on their plate. And the dishes served – from the kale to the quinoa to the bakes zucchini fries – were met with enthusiasm and enjoyment. One young lady at my table was so engrossed in the food that she found it hard to pull away to shake the President’s hand.
In the end, the children really felt special and that’s what it was all about. One commented to me that she felt like she was someone important. I agreed that she was one of the most important people in the room.
As part of our Force for Global Good, Delta supports organizations focused on improving global wellness. So, I’m proud of our involvement in this event. It’s truly an investment in our children and our futures.
Sandy Gordon, VP – In-flight Service