Trump administration scraps Michelle Obama's health and education programs

Trump administration scraps Michelle Obama's health and education programs

  • May 1, 2017
  •   378

Cancellation of two programs promoting healthier school lunches and education for underserved girls leaves the former first lady’s legacy in doubt

At least the vegetable garden is safe. For now.

The Trump administration is doing away with two marquee programs advanced by the former first lady Michelle Obama. One program promoted access to education for underserved girls in dozens of countries around the world. The second promoted healthier lunches in US schools.

The cancelled programs were administered by unrelated federal agencies and their cancellations did not appear to have been coordinated.

In February, the current first lady, Melania Trump, announced her intention of preserving the White House vegetable garden, a signature part of Obama’s campaign to promote healthy eating and childhood fitness.

But Monday’s news appeared to leave that legacy, as well as the former first lady’s work on expanding education for girls, in doubt.

Let Girls Learn, a program to open up educational opportunities for girls around the world started by Michelle and Barack Obama in 2015, is no longer a standalone program administered by the Peace Corps, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.
“Moving forward, we will not continue to use the ‘Let Girls Learn’ brand or maintain a standalone program,” an email from the acting director of the agency, Sheila Crowley, was quoted as saying.

Let Girls Learn was administered by the Peace Corps in 44 countries. Last October, to mark the International Day of the Girl, the program announced more than $5m in new private sector commitments “to help address the barriers that prevent adolescent girls from attaining an education”.

“Let Girls Learn had several years of funding already baked,” Tina Tchen, a former chief of staff to Michelle Obama, told CNN. “We were hopeful that given that, it could continue. But obviously elections have consequences, and nobody knows that better than we.”

The Peace Corps produced multiple promotional videos for the program, including this one:

Read more: Guardian

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