Kids Go Hungry During Michelle Obama 'Let's Move' Event

Monday, 04 Mar 2013 12:48 PM

By Michael Mullins

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A Chicago Public School teacher wrote a scathing review of a kick-off event for first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign — which encourages physical education in schools to combat childhood obesity — because her fifth-graders went for hours without food or drink.

According to teacher Lisa Putnam, who said she and her students were initially excited about the event, the kids were instructed not to bring any food or drink with them on the school outing, as per a request from Michelle Obama and her support staff.

Consequently, Putnam says her class went hungry during the four-hour event at Chicago’s McCormick Place (the largest convention center in North America), reported The Daily Caller.

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In CPS Chatter — "a forum of CPS parents and teachers" — Putnam aired her complaints from the event, writing:

"If you are a parent, imagine that you take your child on a trip and they are very excited. Now imagine they have to wait on a bus and stand in straight lines for three hours straight. Then imagine after one hour of ‘fun’ that they have to sit around and wait for three more hours for that bus to pick them up. Oh, did I mention that are not allowed to have a morsel of food the entire time?”

Putnam says her 10-year-old students endured hour-long lines for "XL men’s T-shirts" before being positioned around the stage by event organizers.

"My students continually came up to me to tell me that they were hungry and ask why this was happening. We teachers feel responsible for our students and there was nothing we could do but wait. We were at the mercy of this poorly run event," says Putnam.

Putnam added that during the event itself students were encouraged to be active and engage in a great deal of exercise at the end of which the kids "were dropping like flies."

After the event, Putnam said, she waited for two and a half hours for her bus as the 6,000 or so other kids who gathered at the convention center found their way onto their buses.

"At 3:52 we finally departed from McCormick Place, exhausted, deflated, and hungry. This event was clearly not about the children, because their needs were not put first."

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On its website, the White House called the event "a groundbreaking, earth-shattering, awesomely-inspiring day."

Related stories:

Michelle Obama Unwittingly Misleading Kids on Obesity

Michelle Obama Asks Mayors to Help Reduce Obesity

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