(CBS DETROIT) – The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), in collaboration with PHA Honorary Chair Michelle Obama and Higher Ground Productions, is bringing the ‘Pass the Love w/ Waffles + Mochi’ campaign to Detroit.

Michelle Obama, wearing a blue apron, stands in a rooftop garden posing for the camera and holding a pink, round mochi puppet. A bee puppet wearing a red tie hovers over her shoulder while a furry white and blue puppet with frozen waffle ears embraces her side. | Credit: Megan Orciari

Beginning next month, 5,500 Detroit families will receive meal kits, which will include recipes and ingredients inspired by the new Netflix series, Waffles + Mochi. The purpose of the campaign, ‘Pass the Love w/ Waffles + Mochi’ is to leverage the show, its characters, and Mrs. Obama to meaningfully shift our food culture toward more affordable, fun, at-home meals for families of every income level.

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Pass the Love Meal Kit | Credit: Megan Orciari

“Thrilled to announce that Detroit will be our latest partner city for the Pass the Love campaign with @PHAnews! We’ll be distributing healthy meal kits there soon, and with your help, we can reach even more families in need. I hope you’ll donate at WafflesAndMochi.org,” said Former First Lady and PHA Honorary Chair Michelle Obama via Twitter, announcing Detroit as the next ‘Pass the Love’ partner city.

Then, over four weeks, Focus: HOPE, the local partner, and PHA will distribute 264,000 meals to food-insecure families throughout Detroit.

Meal kit distribution in Atlanta | Credit: Megan Orciari

“We are so excited to be working with Partnership for a Healthier America on ‘Pass the Love w/ Waffles + Mochi,’” said Portia Roberson, CEO, Focus: HOPE. “I know this initiative will help many families experience the joy of cooking together, and I’m grateful that Focus: HOPE is able to play a role in distributing the meal kits to families throughout Metro Detroit.”

This will happen as the campaign works to reach its goal of distributing 1 million meals to families throughout the country.

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Individuals in Michigan faced high rates of food insecurity before the COVID-19 pandemic started, with approximately 1.3 million people having insufficient access to food.

Now, according to a Fall 2020 report from the Michigan Governor’s Food Security Council, 1.9 million individuals in Michigan are estimated to be food insecure.

Meal kit distribution in Cleveland | Credit: Megan Orciari

Genuine Foods, a socially conscious food service organization, has sourced and assembled the meal kits, making it easy for families to make simple yet fun meals, that could be replicated in the future.

Meal kit distributions have begun, taking place in Atlanta and Cleveland. The distributions in Detroit will happen throughout the month of July.

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