Press Release

Partnership for a Healthier America and Michelle Obama Announce Fresno as Part of 'Pass the Love' Campaign to Deliver 120,000 Healthy Meals to Families Facing Food Insecurity

January 11, 2022

2,500 Fresno families to receive healthy meals kits as campaign works to distribute 1 million meals inspired by Netflix’s ‘*Waffles + Mochi’ and raises awareness of food equity around the country*

FRESNO, CA – 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 Fresno. Starting later this month, 2,500 Fresno families will receive ‘Pass the Love’ meal kits, with recipes and ingredients inspired by the new Netflix series, Waffles + Mochi. Over the course of four weeks, PHA and local partner Central California Food Bank will distribute 120,000 healthy meals to food-insecure Fresno families as the campaign works to meet its goal of distributing 1 million meals across the country.

“I’m thrilled to share that we’ll soon be distributing healthy meal kits to families in Fresno as part of our Pass the Love campaign with @PHAnews! We’re so close to reaching our goal of providing one million meals, but we need your support. Join us:,” said Former First Lady and PHA Honorary Chair Michelle Obama via Twitter, announcing Fresno as the next ‘Pass the Love’ partner city.

‘Pass the Love’ distributions began earlier this year in Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia. ‘Pass the Love’ meal kit distributions take place over four weeks and are structured to build the capacity of local nonprofits in those cities. Socially conscious food service organization Genuine Foods has sourced and assembled the meal kits, including high-quality ingredients and recipes inspired by Waffles + Mochi, enabling families to create meals that are fun, fast, and affordable to replicate.

PHA is partnering with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to evaluate the impact of the ‘Pass the Love’ campaign in uplifting food-insecure families, teaching new cooking skills, and fostering healthier habits. Through focus groups, surveys, and interviews, CHOP will look at how the program impacts the ease and enjoyment of cooking at home for participating families in select partner cities, including Fresno. CHOP’s research will culminate in a report and set of recommendations expected later this year.

Sample Pass the Love Meal Kit Recipes are Available HERE

Images of Pass the Love Meal Kits are Available HERE

“PHA is honored to be able to serve families through the ‘Pass the Love’ campaign in Fresno, as we seek to do our part to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity,” said Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America. “Pass the Love is focused on creating access and exposure to affordable meal making for families, laying the groundwork for long-term shifts in attitudes and diet that benefit health.”

“We are grateful and honored to be chosen by Partnership for a Healthier America to join forces in educating and raising awareness about health and hunger in Central California,” said Kym Dildine, co-CEO of Central California Food Bank. “We have seen a huge spike in need in our community and this partnership with the ‘Pass the Love w/ Waffles + Mochi’ campaign could not come at a better time. Getting nutritious food to families in need in a fun and creative way is so exciting.”

“In Central California, 1 in 3 children are hungry,” said Natalie Caples, Co-CEO of Central California Food Bank. “This comprehensive program is going to educate families with new and innovative ways to cook nutritious foods and provide them with the meals they need to thrive. The connection to the show is really going to excite kids in our community and encourage them to try new foods! We hope this program will build healthy habits for years to come.”

‘Pass the Love w/ Waffles + Mochi’ leverages 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. Through the meal kit distribution program, PHA is targeting communities with the highest levels of childhood poverty, as identified by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), founded in partnership with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign in 2010, is the premier national nonprofit working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. PHA seeks partnerships that have the greatest potential to reduce health disparities. We do this using evidence-based approaches that drive systemic access to better food. In a decade of work, we have partnered with more than 300 corporations, convenience store chains, and distributors, hospitals, early childhood education centers, and SNAP-Ed implementing agencies, among others, in pursuit of our vision that all children grow up healthy and free from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.

With support from inaugural partners Walmart and Blue Apron, PHA is raising awareness of food equity issues with the goal of providing more than one million meals through Pass the Love branded meal kits to families in food insecure communities around the country. Additional funding has been provided by Bounty, the American Cancer Society, and individual donors around the country. Pass the Love meal kits will be provided for free thanks to financial support from partners and donors.

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