First lady Michelle Obama has been very active these days promoting good nutrition and healthy meals. She recently sweet-talked Jay Leno into snacking on apples and pizza made with eggplant, green peppers and zucchini on the “Tonight Show”.
She praised Dallas schools during a stop to help judge a cooking competition that paired chefs and grade-school students with a few Dallas Cowboys.
And she danced with cheering school kids and chatted with troops during her three day national tour celebrating the second anniversary of “Let’s Move” — the program developed by Michelle Obama to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation — where she highlighted healthy low-cost school meals.
Meanwhile, the USDA, under the direction of the Obama Administration, just doled out a $50,000 USDA grant to a potato chip company to expand and promote its salty, fat-laden assortment of potato chip products.
Carol Sidor, who owns the 170-acre Sidor Farm in Mattituck with her husband, Martin, said she’s “very pleased and excited” about winning a $49,990 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and hopes the additional funding will help her family business increase its sales.
Ms. Sidor said the federal funding will go toward updating North Fork Potato Chips’ website and brochures. The company has also started working with a marketing firm to help boost sales. “Getting the big contracts is a hard job,” Ms. Sidor said. “I’m sure this will be a big help. We wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise.”
A spokeswoman for USDA Rural Development said the Value-Added Producer Grant Program is designed to help companies expand their businesses to a wider audience.
One of the consultant’s suggestions that Ms. Sidor said she’s looking into is sending samples to hotels located throughout the state in order to secure new contracts.
Now that North Fork Potato Chips has received additional funding for marketing, Ms. Sidor said she believes it will also help her company achieve its long-term goal: purchasing a chip plant.
The chip plant would have an educational component for children to learn about how potato chips are made, as well as the history of the Long Island potato, she said.
“We’ll now be able to market without a worry,” Ms. Sidor said. “In the meantime, it allows us to expand into something that, perhaps, we don’t even know about yet.”
February 14th, 2012