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At Miriam's Kitchen, Michelle Obama Feeds and Mingles with the Homeless

By DeNeen L. Brown
"Would you like risotto?" first lady Michelle Obama asked. "That's my job -- to serve the risotto."

Obama went to Miriam's Kitchen today, where she served about 50 homeless guests. She stood at the end of a serving line and dished up risotto with mushrooms.

She smiled. Asked how people were doing. Asked them what they would like.

They smiled. Told her sure they would like the risotto, then moved down the line to get steamed broccoli, home-made apple-carrot muffins, wheat rolls and salad, made with fruit donated by the first lady's office.

Every weekday, rain or shine, Miriam's Kitchen, at 24th and G streets NW, serves chronically homeless people breakfast. Last year, Miriam's served 55,272 meals to more than 4,000 guests.

Today, they were told to come in for a special lunch -- and that the chef was going to be making a special meal.

"We said we were celebrating the end of February. And Steve, our chef, was making a special meal. They know his cooking is so good," said Sara Gibson.

All the food at Miriam's is prepared on site. The group wants the food to be healthy for the diners, many of whom struggle with illnesses, physical and mental. Ninety-six percent are male; 70 percent African-American; 13 percent veterans. The average age is 46. Nearly 75 percent sleep on the streets or in emergency shelters. Every day at 5 a.m., they start lining up at Miriam's Kitchen. At 6:30 a.m. promptly, the doors open. It is one thing the visitors can count on. Another is healthy food.

"If anyone brings us donuts, Steve throws them away," Gibson said. "It is not good food for our guests. We care too much to give them anything but the best. Steve wants our guests to have the same experience as if they were paying $30 for the meal."

Jennifer Roccanti, development associate at Miriam's, stood in the back as guests filed in and took their seats at round tables with white table clothes. Glasses of Tang and cups of coffee in front of them. Weary faces wrapped in scarves. Their lives stuffed in bags. Wearing coats upon coats against the cold and danger of sleeping on the street. Sitting at round tables waiting. Mostly invisible people, living on the edge.

"It's unbelievable for our guests that the first lady will be here," Roccanti said. "It reaffirms the notion they matter. That people care about them. For the most part, people ignore them. But today, arguably the most popular person in America is coming and shaking their hands. We tell them everyday how much they matter. But coming from the first lady of the United States, that is a powerful statement."

"Our guests," Gibson said, "are people on the street, people usually look through them. We all see people walk by them. That's why we call them guests -- not clients because they are special. Mrs. Obama's visit tells our guests they are not forgotten. That President Obama and Mrs. Obama care about their neighborhood and their neighbors who a lot of people don't care about."

"It's tough being on the street. This says you are human," Gibson said. "They live on the street. There is danger at every turn. To have Mrs. Obama here says for a minute, we are all together. It will give people hope. They need hope. A lot are struggling with some really serious issues. For some of them, hope is what they cling to."

At 12:21 p.m., the rolling metal door to the service line rolled up. Behind the counter stood Mrs. Obama, in a guava pink sweater and plastic serving gloves, with serving spoon in hand.

Then one by one, the guests lined up.

And Obama dished risotto, one by one. Offering steamed, fresh broccoli.

William Richardson, 46, was speechless when his turn came. "Meeting her, I couldn't say anything," Richardson said a few minutes later, his tray of food still untouched. "It was stage fright, I guess. I wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out."

Several minutes and several guests later, the metal door rolled down. And Obama came into the dining room.

The crowd applauded. She told them times were hard, but they would get better. Then she called on people in America to volunteer at kitchens or donate food. She thanked the volunteers for filling a need.

A man in green told her, "America has spoken."

A man in white told her, "I'm a volunteer here."

"Thank you," Obama said.

A woman in a black sweater with an orange scarf hanging over a very full belly shook Obama's hand.

"When are you due?" Obama asked.

"Three weeks," the woman said.

"Looks like you are breezing through it," Obama said.

A homeless man in a biker jersey told her he would ride across America to raise money for the homeless. "A dollar a mile. Is the White House good for a dollar a mile?" he asked.

"Yes," Obama said, and asked him to talk to her assistant.

"I got people," she joked.

A man in a red sweater in a wheel chair rolled up. "Four more years, guaranteed," he said.

"You think so?" Obama asked.

Man in green sweater: "You really are tall."

"I am tall," Obama said.

After shaking, hands, she smiled and walked back through the kitchen.

And the guests stood behind in the hope that she left behind.

Samuel Hinton, 52, a Vietnam Veteran, who says he has been homeless three or four years, said he was impressed with the first lady. "I liked what she did. To come down here in our world.... There have been a lot of first ladies. But none ever touched base like this."
Hinton says he sleeps on the streets because the shelters are a danger to him and he a danger to them. "I could snap at any day being in that environment. I just stay on the street or wherever I can sit."

Hinton said he got a chance to shake Obama's hand.

"She asked, 'Are you doing okay?'"

"I said, 'No, ma'am. Honestly, I'm not doing okay.'"

"She said, 'Hang in there. It will get better.'"

"Her assistant took my name and number."

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 5, 2009; 3:57 PM ET
Categories:  The First Lady , Washington Life  
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Comments

And the trolls are out! A story about a soup kitchen brings out this type of foul ad hominem attacks.

The Post won't disable their IP addresses, which is unfortunate. They have as much to contribute on this story as a one legged man in an a$$ kicking contest.

Two pieces of good news. One, neither Michelle nor BHO really cares what these dittoheads think. Two, he's still the president, and none of these trolls are.

That last one is a VERY good thing. It's gonna take a lot of time, effort and money to clean up the mess the GOP and its backers have made over the past 8 years.

Posted by: crix | March 6, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Leave it to small-minded, petty people to find fault with others' positive actions.

Posted by: patty2 | March 6, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

In response to FedUp1 who wrote:
There are some very mean readers here...
To the author of these words: "As lovely as her visit today must have been for those who frequent and depend on Miriam's, it might have been a lot more meaningful if she hadn't just hosted a big dinner party last night with fancy gourmet dishes served on gold trimmed plates and entertained the big wigs of the House and Senate."

That's her job.
-----------------------------------------
Since I dare speak my opinion, I am now deemed to be a mean reader and then you continue with "I'm proud of Michelle Obama. We should all be proud of her. The mean-spirited live in their own little inferno. I do feel sorry for them, though."
Please don't waste your precious time feeling sorry for me. I'm very glad you are so enamored with the First Lady, but I'm not in rapture with her every breath thank you. Maybe if I didn't remember all the choice harsh words she spoke during the pre-election. Maybe if she wasn't treated as the rockstar du jour and on every fan magazine cover discussing her wonderful upper arms or sleeveless dresses. Is she the First Lady of the United States or a faux popstar that needs worship like the likes of moviestars? Both the Obamas talked of making their own personal sacrifices when they got in the White House to show their leadership and in support of those Americans stuggling to provide 1 or 2 meals a day to their family. I am still waiting to see what those sacrifices are because the likes of certain main stream media are discussing it to be the "in party spot" of the times. Maybe those people who frequent Miriams' can enjoy the fact that she spared a few moments to be with them but I am sorry but I find it hypocritical to show up there after the night before hosting a gala dinner for the Congressional elite. If it's not weekly cocktail parties now or hosting superbowl parties etc., or jetting off to spend a weekend in Chicago and dine at Oprah's chef's restaurant, just what example am I supposed to take from this that they are feeling my pain or the pain of others in much worse shape than I am?

Posted by: justmyvoice | March 6, 2009 12:38 AM | Report abuse

Like I said earlier............

.....it was a staged "PHOTO OP!!!", NOTHING more, NOTHING less!!!

It's done all of the time.

It probably just put another grey hair in poor ole POTUS Hussein's head???.....as HE and MICHELLE host lavish parties for dignitaries in the White House with catered food and fine wines!!!

Posted by: thgirbla | March 5, 2009 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Well done, Michelle.

Pevious presidents and first ladies of both partes have done the same thing on Thanksgiving or Christmas. This is the first time I remember such a dramatic cameo on an ordinary day so soon in the administration.

I have a homeless friend who frequently comments about a friend he has who eats healthy food. He tells me that he walks from southeast several times a week to this place in Foggy Bottom because they serve great breakasts.

I wasn't sure I truly believed him until now.

Posted by: faithfulservant3 | March 5, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse


for the record.. i NEVER said michelle was the devil.. LOL no, i reserve that for someone else. but to put things in perspective... YES, it is nice that michelle was able to take her presidential motorcade down to a staged event and have her picture taken with poor people. it's too bad that she can't do the same thing by going over to sidwell friends school and do that.. but anyway.. there is a FORMER first lady who is a PIG. (and YES, this is whom i would refer to as the devil..) you of course know her, as she is in the news today. it is barbara bush.. who just came out of heart surgery.

but.. do you know what she (honest to god) said about the refugees out of louisiana after katrina who were staying in the houston astrodome for lack of ANYWHERE ELSE to go???? she said and I quote;

"what I am hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in texas. everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. and so many of the people in here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them...."

wow.

isn't that absolutely amazing????

that was barbara bush... george h.w. bush's wife.

and she was a FIRST LADY... so please people.. just as george (w)orthless bush looked in that wonderfully composed PRESIDENTIAL POSE looking out the window of AF1 down at the damage at katrina.. it doesn't mean they give or gave a sh*t.

it's all politics and window dressing used to advance an agenda.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

Emma: What volunteer work have YOU done lately? (My guess is zero.) Instead of snide comments, why don't and the other bitter posters actually go out and do something useful for a change?
Have some class, poster.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 5, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

The point of this appearance by Michelle Obama is to remind people that soup kitchens and food pantries exist, and need extra support during this kind of economic crisis. At the food pantry where I work, our clientele has almost TRIPLED in the past year. Amazingly, donations are just about keeping up, but it is very important to keep food pantries and soup kitchens in the public eye so donations will stay high.

Posted by: annieb346 | March 5, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Good for you DrivebyPoster. I'll at least pay attention to someone who walks the walk instead of just talking the talk. You didn't respond the second part of my post, though.

And be honest about it. If you're socially conscious enough to work with battered women, would you rather turn on the TV and see Michelle Obama going out in the community and doing SOMEthing, however briefly (and a President's wife does have other things to do) or would you prefer seeing how much Manny Ramirez and his agents whine about getting a mere $45 million for two years with the Dodgers?

Posted by: wkorn | March 5, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

jpantsios wrote; " Those who think that this was a "special" meal, created because Mrs. Obama was volunteering should check out this story that was on NPR last August

Steve Badt cooks like this all the time.

-----------------------------

i just went to the url you mentioned. don't you EVEN READ WHAT YOU POST????

LOL

no, he DOESN'T cook like this all the time.. go read YOUR url again!

it looks like he had a 6 course breakfast he served the day that zwerdling was there.. gee. coincidence?? LOL

you people are SMURFS! FRIGGIN ALL OF YOU!!!

:D

:D

:D

and i'm enjoying the heck out of watching all of your little blue swaths of hair on your heads all bobbin in unison as you say how wonderful and genuine and sincere this lady michelle is, whom god has PERSONALLY bestowed upon us to make right from what has been wrong in this world..

oh for chrissakes..

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe there are so many negative posters over a very selfless act by the BEST First Lady we have ever had. I am white and Mrs. Obama does not hate white. Her daughters have many white friends and she married a 1/2 white man. I think her caring act she did at the soup kitchen just shows exactly what kind of a heart she has. If she had hid behind the serving counter I guess some of you would have been happy but no she mingled with the guests and even shook hands with these homeless people. She did not have to do that. She wanted to give them something called HOPE and I think it worked. She will have my praise unless she does something to show me that she is different than we think. She is REAL and she is down to earth. Who can blame her for putting her girls in a private school. They are the presidents kids for goodness sake. They were in private schools before they came to Washington. They have opened the White House to PEOPLE and mingle with them. I am VERY PROUD of President & Mrs. Obama. I think most of you posting on here are just die hard republicans that would give anything if the president fails. And if he does I believe he will have done his best.

Posted by: Mauzieblue | March 5, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Those who think that this was a "special" meal, created because Mrs. Obama was volunteering should check out this story that was on NPR last August: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=93396868

Steve Badt cooks like this all the time.

More on Badt and his cooking at Miriam's Kitchen: http://media.www.gwhatchet.com/media/storage/paper332/news/2004/01/20/Style/Breakfast.At.Miriams-582963.shtml

Posted by: jpantsios | March 5, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse


wkorn wrote; "@DriveByPoster Put your body where your mouth is. When is the last time YOU served food at a shelter for 20 minutes, let alone 20 hours a week? If you haven't yet, get going! When you've done it, you can complain all you want.

-----------------------------

actually.. i do volunteer a lot of my time. it isn't in a soup kitchen, but it is a home for battered spouses. and that is where the impetus for my words comes from. they have enough people going for a "15 minute photo op" at their expense. they NEED peeople that are there for the duration... they DON'T NEED OR HAVE TIME FOR THE people who want the glory without the work.

and to mack1.. have you ever noticed i never respond to you? well.. keep wondering.

lol

you people are a trip. you can't see the forest for the trees.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

DriveByPoster,
Do us all a favor and try to be a little less stupid, okay?
Thanks in advance.

Posted by: mack1 | March 5, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

@DriveByPoster

Put your body where your mouth is. When is the last time YOU served food at a shelter for 20 minutes, let alone 20 hours a week? If you haven't yet, get going! When you've done it, you can complain all you want.

While you're on the serving line, reflect on the value of that "photo op" Ms. Obama did. If even a massively small percentage of the 301 million people in this country try out volunteer work of this kind for the first time as a result of her "photo op", the result is a net gain.

Posted by: wkorn | March 5, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

As cynical as I am, I am still dumbfounded by the vitriol and mean spiritedness of some posters. Do you really think that Mrs. Obama can do anything quietly or otherwise under the radar? Was it a photo op? The fact that she is followed constantly by photographers, I think renders the question moot. How could it not be? Still, she is doing a good thing. Laura Bush read to kids, was she called condescending?

Posted by: overed | March 5, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she was there to tell that her and obumbo are going to take it from whitey so they can drive around in their bmw drinking ripple.

Posted by: goziner | March 5, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

If Obama's visit can brighten the day of the clientele, then it was a positive experience. If it can highlight the work that Miriam's Kitchen is doing, then it was a positive experience.

In addition to the providing healthy meals on a daily basis, Catherine Crum and her team of caseworkers provide everything from medical services to toiletries to mental health and addiction work to clothing to housing services to haircuts and the list goes on and on.


Posted by: itchbunk | March 5, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"It's a photo op!!!"

Nothing more, nothing less!!!

Odd they didn't mention WHEN she got there, HOW long she stayed, and WHEN she left???

Now THAT would be a STORY!!!

Posted by: thgirbla | March 5, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Our First Lady hates white people according to the Brits.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 5, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Our First Lady hates white people.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 5, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse


kashabear wrote, "excellent idea, driveby:with an estmiated population of 301 million people, please calculate how many hours that adds up to yearly. I bet the soup kitchens would welcome the help!

---------------------------

no, they wouldn't enjoy it, because organizations such as soup kitchens work VERY HARD to do what they do.. they don't need people patronizing them with 15 minutes of their time.. they need people COMMITTED TO HELP.. they need people will BE THERE FOR THEM... not at 12:21pm until 12:36pm... as i said before it is PATRONIZING for someone to go and STAGE A PHOTO OP at their expense...

it is downright DISINGENUOUS!


Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

TO: MICHELLE OBAMA (staff, please forward)

cc: NATIONAL PRESS CORPS AND INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS

RE: BUSH DOJ LEGAL MEMOS APPROVING DOMESTIC TORTURE VIA MICROWAVE RADIATION WEAPONRY


Still-secret Bush Justice Department memos are believed to have approved the covert use of classified, silent microwave radiation weapons on U.S. citizens -- "targeted" under the pretext of the "war on terror" as "undesirables" and "dissidents."

Victims, including the journalist who authored the articles linked below, say these painful, debilitating and illness-inducing microwave assaults constitute torture and "slow-kill" (a military descriptive) homicide -- what could be described as an American genocide.

Victims of these assaults say their family finances are decimated by an array of secret "programs of personal financial destruction" that involve the forced cooperation of private enterprise; surveillance and interception of mail and telecommunications; and the forging of billing, utility, banking and mortgage statements -- what they charge is a process of expropriation and theft by deception.

Sources say these covert programs were justified by the Bush Justice Department under legal theories that are said to include a suspected "nexus to terrorism" and, according to a source, the legal theory that weapons and/or medical experimentation on U.S. citizens is permissible if subjects are under federal investigation for suspected offenses.

These microwave weapons assaults have continued under the Obama administration, and are facilitated by an "extrajudicial punishment network" enabled by federal agencies; local police nationwide; and "community gang stalker" citizen vigilantes fronted by government-funded community policing and volunteer organizations.

***

Victims have asked the FBI/Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation. They say officials have told them they see nothing to investigate, and hint that victim accounts are delusional.

Victims maintain that marginalizing the persecuted as "unstable" or "mentally ill" is a tactic being used to cover up crimes against humanity, a highly organized and well-funded social genocide.


***


TEAM OBAMA: WHAT DO YOUR BUSH HOLD-OVERS KNOW ABOUT THIS:

* Silent, covert microwave radiation weapons assaults on innocent but "targeted" U.S. citizens;

* Terroristic vigilante community gang stalking, surreptitious home entry, police-tolerated vandalism;

* Secret federal "programs of personal financial destruction."


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | March 5, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

we should all take michelle obama's advice and go work in a soup kitchen for 15 minutes one day a year.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 6:23 PM
---------

excellent idea, driveby:
with an estmiated population of 301 million people, please calculate how many hours that adds up to yearly. I bet the soup kitchens would welcome the help!

Posted by: kashabear | March 5, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Love it when a Vogue cover condescends to feed the little people for 15 minutes.

At least she didn't (publicly) complain about their smell.

Posted by: Emma3 | March 5, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

After the parties that have been going down nightly from the WH and the $100.00 a pound steak being served,this is supposed to soften the news that this is a "party kind of administration" . In addition to everyone who default's mortgage ,we get to pay for the parties. Gee the beans and rice we are having for dinner are delicious. Lucky we can afford that!

Posted by: ronniehvr | March 5, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse


lepstein12 wrote, "A wonderful gesture from a class act.... "

-----------------------

i'll tell you what lepstein12.. i'll agree with you and call this a CLASS ACT.... *IF* michelle obama starts spending at least 20 hours a week at this soup kitchen.

15 minutes of her time volunteered at a soup kitchen from ONE DAY IN THE YEAR is *NOT* a class act... it is patronizing at best.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

A wonderful gesture from a class act....

Posted by: lepstein12 | March 5, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

hey calcyon???

you need to read the story again. this was NOT a standard meal. the story mentions it was a SPECIAL MEAL that was to be served today because michelle obama was to be there.

THIS WAS A *PHOTO OP* STAGED TO EARN SUPPORT FOR OUR NEW PRESIDENT AND HIS WIFE.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Those whining about the elaborate state dinner the night before apparently didn't read the article. Miriam's apparently tries to serve good food, instead of vats of the kind of cafeteria food you usually see at shelters. (I've never seen risotto at any shelter where I've ever volunteered!) The lunch menu sounded delicious--wouldn't it be better if everyone had a chance to eat good food on a regular basis? This place definitely has the right idea, and Mrs. Obama did good in shining a spotlight on it.

I love having a first family who actually comes *from* a large city, not some fancy exclusive suburb--and Michelle Obama was a South Side girl. Whether you're white or black, even if you went to Princeton, work for the University of Chicago, and live on a block of large houses, in Hyde Park you still rub shoulders with everybody--you shop at the same supermarkets, you walk the same streets, you get your haircuts in the same place, you use the same pharmacy, you avoid the same dark alleys, you see the same guys sleeping under the Metra tracks in their grimy sleeping bags when it's 10 degrees outside and there's a wind off the lake, you get stopped by the same panhandlers selling Streetwise. That's another huge different between the Obamas and any of the families who've preceded them. I've never been lucky enough to meet her, but just knowing who she is and where she's from, I can guarantee you that there is nothing fake about this lady, believe me.

Posted by: calcyon | March 5, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse


we should all take michelle obama's advice and go work in a soup kitchen for 15 minutes one day a year.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I COULDN'T BE PROUDER OF THE FIRST LADY...SHE IS SUCH A WONDERFUL AND CARING PERSON. THE WHOLE WORLD NEED TO FELLOW HER LEAD AND EXTEND A HELPING HAND WHENEVER AND WHERE EVER WE CAN. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

Posted by: agnesgilcrease | March 5, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: DriveByPoster - begrudging the homeless a chance they never thought they would get is pathetic. YOu are certainly pathetic and ugly. Please go see a proctologist and get your head out of your butt.

Posted by: mzbond | March 5, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I am still amazed at how many people think it is great to bailout the rich republican corporations, butit is not ok help the homeless. What is in the Pledge of Allegiance... "one Nation under God"... Apparently, the hateful think that they own God.

Posted by: mzbond | March 5, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse


can you imagine all these homeless people already down on their luck, and they stop off at a soup kitchen to get their once-a-week hot meal... and as soon as they walk in the door to the soup kitchen, they are surrounded by the secret service, frisked, ran through a metal detector, stripped searched.. and then MAYBE are allowed into the serving line to get served by the rich obama lady as she spends 15 minutes of her life serving homeless??? this is of course, all based on whether there was ANY ROOM in the soup kitchen.. because this was a PHOTO-OP and had probably DOZENS AND DOZENS of photographers from cnn, fox, abc, nbc, knme, cspn, cbs, bbc, pravda, the washington d.c. locals.. the boston locals.. the ny locals.. etc, etc, etc... all taking photo after photo of michelle obama holding a friggin spoon and HAMMING it up. (pun intended)

it's pretty disgusting, actually...

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

2xy4k9:
You are nothing but a loser and coward. If you aren't, repeat your garbage with your name attached.

Posted by: barnardj1 | March 5, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

There are some very mean readers here...
To the author of these words: "As lovely as her visit today must have been for those who frequent and depend on Miriam's, it might have been a lot more meaningful if she hadn't just hosted a big dinner party last night with fancy gourmet dishes served on gold trimmed plates and entertained the big wigs of the House and Senate."

That's her job.

To yoschoharo who said it was propaganda. Michelle Obama is highlighting the plight of the homeless in a nation plunged into a profound crisis by pityless greed.

I'm proud of Michelle Obama. We should all be proud of her. The mean-spirited live in their own little inferno. I do feel sorry for them, though.

Posted by: FedUp1 | March 5, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

2xy4k9:
Bravo, tell them. We need to stand up with Rush L and people like you. The Repubs will return to power led by the decent people of USA. Please keep it up. Your post is full of insight and wisdom. May I quote you in my blog as a "Republican spokesman, 2xy4k9"?

Posted by: kuku1 | March 5, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I get a kick out of rich folk who show up once a year to feed the homeless. Don't bother. The disruption is not worth your help. Help on a regular basis or keep the hell away. There is work to be done.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 5, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama has a mean body; she might consider doing USO shows, too! The troops would sure appreciate it.

Posted by: charlesjacksonnyc | March 5, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

What a wonderful story, and a wonderful woman! I'm sorry your reporter wasn't able to tie this Miriam's Kitchen story into the Christmas Eve death of Yoshio Nakada, who was a Miriam's guest, too. This story, as well as the one you ran in January about Yoshio, really put a "face" on the issue of homelessness. These people are real people, too! Miriam's Kitchen is a great program, and Mrs. Obama's visit highlights the fact that we all can make a difference.

Posted by: brookenelson | March 5, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse


michelle likes to tty and associate her and her husband with the poor and struggling of the washington area..

too bad she put her 2 children in the most elite of elite private schools in the nation.

and PLEASE don't reply and say it's because of security. the schools don't provide the president's children security.. the secret service does. the secret service would have done whatever was needed to protect them if thwy had been placed with the poor and underprivileged at a public washington d.c. school. trust me on this.

Posted by: DriveByPoster | March 5, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

And to Posted by: 2xy4k9
The only "ugly gorilla" is a racist scum like YOU, 2xy4k0. Go to hell, poster. You are a POS.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 5, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Laura Bush did not care one iota about the people of Washington, DC. Like her husband she was worthless.

Posted by: mjwies11 | March 5, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Mark1153 wrote:
"As she and her husband continue their crusade to eliminate the financial security of the middle class ... "

Oh, puh-leeeeeezzzzeee! Who are you kidding, Mark?
Poster, we hate to break this to you, but that started under your precious little sainted George W. Bush. But, of course, you don't have the honesty or decency to admit that, do you?
To you and the other nasty, resentful and jealous posters here: Lay off Mrs. Obama. She deserves respect, just as Laura Bush and other First Ladies did before them.
Typical right-wing hypocrisy. Whatta *shocker." Grow up, Mark.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | March 5, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

risotto?? how about some of that $100 lb steak paid for with tax payer money while people loose their jobs that you and your teleprompter drone husband and you, you ugly gorilla, is eating, biiiaaatch!!

Posted by: 2xy4k9 | March 5, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Winning the hearts of the people, in the places that matter the most, out on the streets. The Obamas are taking Washington by storm.

Posted by: AverageJane | March 5, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I am so happy that Michelle Obama is our first lady. She is an inspiring person.

Posted by: homer4 | March 5, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I'll bet she has done that a lot of times when there weren't photographers and cameras!!!! LOL

More seriously, I hope she keeps it up. As she and her husband continue their crusade to eliminate the financial security of the middle class, the soup kitchens are going to get busier and busier. I thought I was looking at a comfortable retirement, but thanks to the Hope and Change Revolution, I am looking at scraping by and trying to make ends meet. But, heck, I might run into the First Lady at the soup kitchen. You can't beatthat!

Posted by: Marks1153 | March 5, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Reading this article brought back many fond memories of when I - along with my work colleagues - volunteered at Miriam's kitchen. They are a great organization and their chef Steve is an amazing cook (and has great taste in music). He creates healthy and satisfying dishes for each and every guest. This organization, its staff and the many volunteers have big hearts and deserve our city's utmost appreciation and attention. Mrs. Obama's visit confirms what I and many others already know; that Miriam's Kitchen is a very special place. Thank you Mrs. Obama and thanks to all at Miriam's Kitchen.

Posted by: RP5150 | March 5, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

As lovely as her visit today must have been for those who frequent and depend on Miriam's, it might have been a lot more meaningful if she hadn't just hosted a big dinner party last night with fancy gourmet dishes served on gold trimmed plates and entertained the big wigs of the House and Senate. Perhaps I might not feel so cynical if the Obamas were showing some restraint themselves as they promised to do. He said he would lead by example as they tell everyone else on main street to tighten their belts and show restraint in this downturn of the economy. For all you who will now complain that I dared say anything negative about this perfect First Lady, just remember I think we still are allowed freedom of expression. You may not like my opinions and I may not like yours, but we still have the right to have them.

Posted by: justmyvoice | March 5, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I understand the spirit of yoschoharo's comment that volunteering means more if you do it quietly, without fanfare. But I disagree.

Michelle Obama is a role model to many of us. When she very publicly volunteers at Miriam's, she encourages other people to do the same. She is using the public spotlight that shines on her and making sure it lights up needs in our community and something concrete any of us could volunteer for as well. That is part of her job, and it is the correct thing to do.

As a woman, I have greatly admired every one of our recent first ladies (this includes Barbara Bush -- and I hope she makes a safe recovery from her recent surgery). It is a thankless, poorly defined, but very demanding job of service to the nation. Everyone's a critic, but somehow they all manage to rise above with grace and power.

But I have to admit that I am especially filled with pride about our current First Lady. She is authentic, has superb instincts about the right thing to do and so, and is of sterling character. I am so proud to have her represent us as Americans. Go Tiger!

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | March 5, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It is a beautiful article. Just an FYI to yoschoharo, Michelle Obama can't do anything quietly anymore. She's the first lady of the United States of America.

Posted by: MoorPeele64 | March 5, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

This woman came from a small house in a black neighborhood in Chicago.

Her great-great grandfather was a slave in South Carolina.

Her father was a pump operator for the Chicago Water Department; her mother was a secretary. They had two children.

One is a head coach at Oregon State.

One is First Lady of the United States.

Mom and Dad did a great job.

So should we all.

:-)

Posted by: toritto | March 5, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Every day the Obama administration shows how much it cares about the citizens of our country. I thought November 4 would be the height of my admiration, but instead, every day there's another story that makes me even more confident that in spite of the financial turmoil Obama inherited, he is doing all he can for the American people.

Posted by: DWinFC | March 5, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

What a Christian thing to do. Blessing on you and your husband's stay in the White House. Eleanor Roosevelt would be proud of you today!

Posted by: logcabin1836 | March 5, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Miriam's is a great program--I used to volunteer there. But the writer needs to learn the difference between "everyday," as in "everyday clothes" and "every day", as in "I visit my sister every day." Marred an otherwise nice article.

Posted by: molvo89 | March 5, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

It's good to hear this. I passed a man sitting in a car with the engine on and parked in the street two days in a row. (It was not a parking lane.) This morning when I passed him, his head hung backwards as he slept. That's when a pang hit my chest when I realized that he was living in his car and running the engine to keep warm. I wish I could do more, honestly. Seeing people in this condition is painful.

Posted by: forgetthis | March 5, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the clients were thrilled... just as they are when NBA stars show up at soup kitchens and school libraries in front of cameras to give the league a softer look and feel. This would all mean so much more if she quietly volunteered on a consistent basis. Otherwise it's propaganda.

Posted by: yoschoharo | March 5, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Good for Michelle. I hope she keeps going, as it will encourage us not to look away. And as there are more and more unemployed people, it's a reminder to them to think about using some of their free time (just some) to help others who are less fortunate than they are (and each other). We all have skills that can help other people, even if it is just to listen.
And for those who still have jobs, it's a reminder that they are lucky. Maybe they can donate an extra $10 a month to a local food pantry or soup kitchen, or can help a neighbor or friend who has lost a job with a few leads for work or just buying them a cup of coffee and lending an ear. Asking how they are doing...not looking away.
We're going to get through this economic depression if we help each other, but only if we help each other. The government can only do so much. This is a test for all of us.

Posted by: bklynny | March 5, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

This comment toward "sandnsmith". If your going to bad mouth presidential candidates, you might want to spell their name correctly, it's Giuliani...not Guillinis. As for McCain's wife, you want to degrade a women who had a vicodin addiction, but elect a president has admitted using cocaine. You are being quite hypocritical. But Cindy McCain has done work side by side with Mother Teresa around the world. She is a woman who does not need the spotlight to contribute to society.

Maybe you all should do a little bit of research before you degrade great Americans!

Posted by: mcspanky21 | March 5, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

What a beautiful article. What a beautiful first lady. One thing, there is a rather obvious typo in the piece. Fix it as to not ruin such good work then delete my comment :)

Posted by: cndylourn | March 5, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

What a thrill it must have been for those folks! Other first ladies might have tried to do things like this, but they all seemed so out of touch with the downtrodden that it seemed too staged and contrived. Although this was definately staged, Michelle has an authenticity that makes this seem more "real" than other such attempts by former first ladies. Great story!

Posted by: NMModerate1 | March 5, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama is doing a a great job as First Lady. Not only did she serve but she listended and interacted which shows she cares.

I tried to volunteer at a soup kitchen and I just couldn't do it - the various smells were too much for me so I have volunteered in other ways.

I love the fact that they use the term guest.

Posted by: rlj1 | March 5, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse


Bless you, Mrs. Obama.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | March 5, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

W-O-W! I am so very proud of our first lady! Imagine that? She is not afraid of these poor human beings, she doesn't diss them. She has excellent character.

She beats any other first lady, hands down. Can you imagine having a first lady that was a mistress, like Guillinis wife? How embarassing that would be. Or one that was hooked on vicodin, like McCains wife? No, we picked the right president and the first lady was a bonus!

Posted by: sandnsmith | March 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Good job. Lead by example. That is the way.

Posted by: adfs534fdsadfdf5325034523sgj44583 | March 5, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

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