Read her comments here.
We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Horton’s Kids, a terrific non-profit that tutors and provides nutritional meals to children from Washington DC’s Anacostia neighborhood. Last month we worked with them on several projects including promotion of the renovation of their community center made possible by Microsoft, Home Depot, Chef Robert Irvine and the Food Network’s television program “Restaurant: Impossible” that featured First Lady Michelle Obama. A recent blog post by Horton’s Kids on the site Catalogue for Philanthropy of Greater Washington includes their reflections and some kind words about Dewey Square Group, for which we are grateful.
Fireworks May Not Pack the Only July 4th Surprise Americans Don’t Know Whether They’ll Be Serving Genetically Engineered Foods, Says National “Just Label It” Coalition
As millions of Americans prepare for July 4th picnics and barbecues with family and friends, Just Label It, the national coalition for genetically engineered (GE) food labeling, urged Washington to stop keeping our citizens in the dark, and require labeling for GE foods.
“This July 4th and all summer long, American families will gather our children and grandchildren around picnic and dinner tables without knowing about the food they’re serving,” JLI Chairman Gary Hirshberg said. “As we celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s freedom, the stark reality is that American families don’t have the information or the freedom to know about the food they eat, which places the United States far behind 50 other nations.” Countries such as Japan, all of Europe, and China already have GE foods labeling.
As families stock up on hamburgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob, and get set to make traditional potato salad and apple pie, millions of us will unknowingly buy foods made with GE ingredients. Having no GE foods labeling denies us the information we need to make informed purchasing decisions, and it may put people with food allergies at significant risk.
“After my child had an allergic reaction to breakfast, I was shocked to learn that GE foods had been introducing proteins and allergens into the U.S. food supply since 1996, and no human trials had been done. This means all of us, including our children, are guinea pigs for the chemical companies who have engineered these crops to withstand increasing doses of their chemicals. We have the right to know about our food. We need GE foods to be labeled,” said Robyn O’Brien, who founded the AllergyKids Foundation to help protect the 1 in 3 American children with allergies, asthma, ADHD and autism.
O’Brien noted that nearly all of the foods served this Independence Day and at every summer barbecue could be genetically engineered. Corn on the cob could be genetically engineered to withstand pesticides. The butter we put on it, along with our hamburgers and hot dogs, could be made from livestock that have been raised on GE feed. Any products that contain conventional soy and corn (soy lecithin, high fructose corn syrup) are likely to contain genetically engineered ingredients. This means all of our condiments, salad dressings, and hamburger and hot dog buns could be genetically modified.
“The right to know is a core American value, and part of the building blocks of our democracy. While the science on the health implications of GE foods is inconclusive, it’s time for government to respond to the will of the people and mandate GE food labeling, so we all have the freedom to decide and choose what our families eat,” concluded Hirshberg.
For further information about GE foods, and to sign the petition urging the FDA to approve GE labeling, visit the Just Label It website. Sample sizes are smaller and margins of error are larger for demographic subgroups, and sometimes unavailable.
Members of Congress, Community & Business Leaders Gather at Microsoft Office for Viewing of Restaurant: Impossible, Featuring DC Charity, Horton’s Kids
Congressional members, supporters of Horton’s Kids, and employees from Microsoft and The Home Depot will gather at the Microsoft Policy and Innovation Center office on the evening of Wednesday, June 20th to watch the Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible, featuring First Lady Michelle Obama and Horton’s Kids, a non-profit dedicated to providing services to 300 children and 100 families in Washington DC’s Ward 8. In the episode, the First Lady challenges Chef Robert Irvine to renovate a community center for Horton’s Kids. Prior to the viewing of the show, the event will feature a healthy summer menu inspired by recipes from the First Lady’s newly released book, “American Grown,” and the vegetables grown in the garden at the Horton’s Kids community center.
Part of the evening will be dedicated to thanking the non-profit’s corporate sponsors, Microsoft and The Home Depot, whose generous donations were crucial to completing the renovation of the community center. The corporations donated hardware, software, in-kind services, lumber, paint and other material used for the Restaurant: Impossible renovation and the creation of a new computer lab housed within the center totaling more than $150,000.
“I cannot say enough how thankful we are for the support we’ve received from Microsoft and The Home Depot,” said Horton’s Kids Executive Director, Brenda Chamberlain. “This project could not have happened without their involvement.”
Microsoft donated equipment and software for a state-of-the-art computer lab to support the children served by Horton’s Kids at their Community Resource Center. Microsoft staff also installed the technology in the center, which included 10 new computers, 16 computer monitors, and 29 Acer Tablets all uploaded with the most current software. The new computers will not only help the children become more adept at using technology but will also help neighborhood parents – who are able to take advantage of the community center – create resumes, search for jobs online, and communicate with potential employers via email. Microsoft also donated a server and software, as well as two Xbox 360 gaming consoles equipped with their popular technology Kinect, which allows the children to exercise in a safe, secure, and fun environment.
“Children living in our city’s Anacostia neighborhood generally have limited access to the technology and skills training they need to succeed,” said Microsoft Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries. “We hope this state-of-the-art computer lab will help many more DC kids be prepared for – and realize – their dreams.”
The Home Depot was invaluable during the renovation and donated building supplies and appliances for the kitchen, in which Horton’s Kids holds healthy cooking classes for children and their families. They also provided over 40 local Home Depot associates to assist with the renovation as part of the company’s Team Depot program in which employees from across the country volunteer in their communities. Since its involvement with the renovation, Home Depot has continued its commitment to Horton’s Kids by holding a job fair at the center where more than 70 residents interviewed for 30 job openings in several local Home Depot stores.
“It’s great to see the final product of everyone’s hard work,” stated Home Depot Vice President of Government Relations, Kent Knutson. “We are very proud to have been a part of this project, and we hope it will enrich the lives of the children and their families living in Ward 8.”
“This was a collaborative effort among many, including the Food Network, the First Lady’s Office, Microsoft, and The Home Depot. Without Microsoft and The Home Depot’s contributions to Horton’s Kids and the Restaurant: Impossible project, the renovation of the center would not have been completed to the caliber it was. They were instrumental in the TV show makeover and without their support, the children who participate in Horton’s Kids programs would not have this beautiful and impactful community center,” said Brenda Chamberlain.
About Horton’s Kids:
Horton’s Kids came about 23 years ago when previous Capitol Hill staffer and Horton’s Kids Founder, Karin Walser, was approached at a gas station by young children offering to pump gas for change. Touched by the children’s stories, Walser along with her friends began tutoring the children and taking them on outings. Ever since, Horton’s Kids has been providing fundamental services like reading and nutrition programs to children from the Ward 8 community in Anacostia. Additionally, Horton’s Kids joins forces with many health professionals in the DC area to address children’s basic needs such as nutritious food, clothing, and health care.
Horton’s Kids received the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management in 2011 and was voted ‘Best Non-Profit’ by readers of the Washington City Paper in 2012.
In DC’s Anacostia neighborhood, many mothers are living in poverty, having to choose between feeding their family and buying diapers for their newborns. The DC Diaper Bank with the help of Horton’s Kids decided to take action so that these mothers do not need to make that choice. Read more here.