Wednesday, November 21, 2012

President Obama, Oregon State Basketball Team Make Thanksgiving Visit To DC Food Bank

First Family hands out groceries and boxes of White House M&Ms to needy families...
 President Obama, the First Family, and the Oregon State University men's basketball team visited DC's Capital Area Food Bank on Wednesday afternoon. The large group spent about an hour working in the cavernous warehouse located in the northeast part of the District, handing out bags filled with Thanksgiving groceries to needy families.  First Lady Michelle Obama's brother, Craig Robinson, is the head coach of the team, and he tweeted about the 5:00 PM outing. The visit came after the annual turkey pardon ceremony in the Rose Garden.

The President was clad in khaki pants and a blue-striped button down shirt as he stood at a long table beside daughter Sasha and asked each recipient how they were doing.  The bags of food contained sweet potatoes, apples and carrots, according to a White House aide, as well as boxes of White House M&Ms, which have the Presidential seal on one side, and the Mr. Obama's autograph on the other.

Mrs. Obama worked beside daughter Malia. Surrounded by the grey sweat-suit clad Beavers, at one point the President exclaimed about the size of a sweet potato he was handing out.  But he and his party ignored the press on hand to cover the event.

"Can't say enough about how proud I am of our guys and the work they're putting in on this service day. #GoBeavs," Robinson wrote on his @OSBeav_CoachRob Twitter account.

The team posted a photo of Robinson introducing freshman player Victor Robbins to the President.  ".@OSBeav_CoachRob introduces freshman @youtightvic to @BarackObama," read the tweet on @OregonStateMBB.

During the turkey pardon ceremony, the President enocouraged Americans to follow his example.

"Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will be taking two turkeys who were not so lucky to a local food bank here in Washington, D.C.," he said.

"I’d like to ask every American to do what they can to help families who are in need of a real Thanksgiving this year."

The extra large motorcade rolled from the food bank at 5:48 PM.  President Obama has no public events scheduled through Sunday.  He will celebrate Thanksgiving with the First Family and extended family and friends at the White House, in a day that is closed to press.  The menu with White House recipes is here.

Click here for more information about pardoned turkeys Cobbler and Gobbler, including an interview with the farmers who raised the birds.

*Watch this State Department video of White House chefs Cris Comerford and Sam Kass explaining American Thanksgiving traditions.

*The President's 2012 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

*Top photo Ap/pool; second from Oregon State Basketball