Michelle Obama Visits Chicago For Fundraiser, Anti-Obesity Campaign

Updated 10/25/11 – 9:23 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — First Lady Michelle Obama was back home in Chicago on Tuesday, visiting an urban farm on the South Side and stopping at a remodeled Walgreens that now sells fresh fruit and vegetables.

As CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports, Mrs. Obama capped off her visit with a campaign fundraiser on the West Side.

Fundraiser tickets ranged from $100 just to get in to $10,000 for a personal photograph with the first lady.

Obama spent two hours with supporters at the fundraisers.

“It was absolutely amazing. It was fabulous to meet her, she was so kind,” said one supporter who had her photo taken with the first lady. “My grandmother was there. She’s 88 years old, she was so excited to meet the first lady. She hugged her as soon as she saw her. She asked my son about his broken arm.”

There was a different kind of photo op hours earlier – with a worm at the Iron Street Urban Farm, which Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced will supply fresh produce to 3 dozen new fresh food outlets as part of his campaign to eliminate food deserts in Chicago.

“Don’t underestimate the power of what is going on here, especially to the employees and people who live in the community. This is big stuff,” Obama said.

Photos were free at an event at a South Side Walgreens, where politicians and others jockeyed to get their shot with the local girl made good – now an international figure, but still a South Sider through and through.

Having seen markets come and grow when growing up on the South Side, Obama is now watching them return.

“I’m so glad that we’re doing this here, at home, in Chicago,” she said. “This is just – it’s a truly wonderful homecoming and it’s a good reason to be here.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

The Democratic National Committee said that taxpayers will foot the bill only for the official part of Mrs. Obama’s visit, and not the political part.

Emanuel was hosting several mayors from around the country on Tuesday to try to issue with so-called “food deserts” – areas of cities that lack easy access to fresh produce.

“This has been just a wonderful reason to come back home,” Obama said at the event at a Chatham neighborhood Walgreens, which recently added fresh food and vegetable sections.

“It’s great because it’s in walking distance from my home,” South Side resident Jill Mitchell said.

“It’s wonderful. Fresh fruit and vegetables are good for your health … it makes a big difference. A canned good is no good for you,” Ollie Banks added.

Walgreens has added several such stores to Chicago this year and plans at least 19 more.

The mayor also announced Tuesday that executives from the Sav-A-Lot, Mariano’s Fresh markets, Wal-Mart and Aldi’s chains have agreed to open 17 new stores in underserved communities across Chicago.

It’s been a priority for the mayor and fits right in to the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign to promote healthier living, especially in lower income communities like Chatham.

“These companies have really made a truly groundbreaking commitment and that’s, you know, why it was important for me to be standing here with these companies, with these mayors,” Obama said.

“We have gone a real distance, I think, in finally bringing the food desert issue. It no longer sits in the shadows,” Emanuel added.

The mayor also visited the Iron Street Urban Farm in the McKinley Park neighborhood with the first lady.

Emanuel also announced an agreement to sell produce from that urban farm to the new local markets selling fresh produce.

  • Angry American

    What a freaking PHONEY,ain;t that right MS.’HAPPY MEALS’.

  • John Wozniak

    maybe i am wrong but she looks 25 lbs bigger than before she the first lady!!!!

  • ralph

    She is actually coming to Chicago to collect contributions for her husband’s campaign coffers: $10k for a photo op. The vast majority of the travel – jet planes, fuel, security, etc. – is paid by the taxpayers. The media is now conveniently “forgetting” to report all this. If she was so concerned about food deserts she would donate those $10k contributions to food pantries instead of Barry’s $1B campaign. People are hungry and those pantries are running out of food.

  • Annie

    She didn’t give a rat’s ass about the food desert problem while living in Chicago in her Hyde Park Mansion.
    This is nothing but political fronting.

  • SNM

    Of course she does it in the black neighborhood. militant michelle doesn’t give a damn about helping whites. she just wants to tax them more. billions have been spent for blacks on food stamps, school luches, food pantries, etc. now we have to have a billion dollar anti-obesity campaign to help them lose weight.



  • Angie

    All of you are ignorant and unintelligent…This is not about white or black, idiots and yes she should do it in the black neighborhood because that is where it is needed most. If things were really equal like they should be then maybe you wouldn’t be making these comments because everyone would have money and be living the “American Dream”! As for food stamps, more of you all have received public assistance and food stamps than blacks, remember it was designed to help whites not blacks in the beginning and if whites are now spending billions of dollars for a campaign that certainly means that they have it to spend because it’s obvious that many blacks don’t. Just look on the list of billionaires and count the number of blacks that made that list to compare. Some of you are just greedy and selfish and don’t want to see others with anything. Want all the power and control only to cause more corruption and wrong doing in the world. That’s why you must reap what you sow. Some whites have created a long line of Karma by destroying families, cultures, homes, villages and more for centuries. Furthermore, these kind of comments only shows you still have a long way to go with your slave mentality thinking selves. Shame on you…..Stop hating!

    • Right

      You are wrong. Whites have to work twice as hard to subsidize blacks even though the blacks don’t truly need it.

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