The first family stuffed food sacks at the Capital Area Food Bank in northeast Washington this afternoon, fulfilling an annual pre-Thanksgiving tradition of performing an act of community service.
The Obamas stood side by side along an assembly line of workers in the food bank warehouse, stuffing reusable grocery sacks with various food items as volunteers filed by. The packages were later bound for delivery to needy children and older Americans.
The president greeted volunteers with a “Happy Thanksgiving” as he handed out packages of baby carrots. While the first lady deposited bundles of grapes, older daughter Malia doled out sweet potatoes and Sasha dished boxes of White House branded M&Ms.
About 100 of the packages were bound for in-person delivery, while the remainder were to be delivered by local social service agencies, the White House said.
The Obamas were joined by 50 members of their extended family and players from the Oregon State basketball team, but the White House did not immediately identify who was in attendance. Michelle Obama’s brother, Craig, is the head basketball coach for Oregon State.
As part of the community service excursion, the Obamas also donated two fully dressed turkeys from Jaindl’s Turkey Farm of Lehigh, Pa., as well as a stash of White House M&Ms and other foodstuffs collected during an East Wing food drive.
The food bank is the largest nonprofit hunger and nutrition education resource in the Washington Metropolitan area, distributing nearly 30 million pounds of food a year, per the White House.