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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
March 31, 2004

Remarks by Mrs. Bush and First Lady of Mexico Marta Sahagun de Fox
Martha's Table
Washington, D.C.

10:38 A.M. EST

MRS. BUSH: We're so glad to be here today. Mrs. Fox is in town because we wanted to go to the Maya exhibit last night that opened at the National Gallery, but also because we really wanted to come to Martha's Table. I wanted to bring Marta to Martha's Table. (Laughter.)

I'm so proud of Martha's Table. This is my first visit here, but my staff has been making sandwiches for Martha's Table for a number of years and my mother-in-law loved to come here. This was one of her favorite places to come and volunteer. So I'm really excited to be able to see it today and to show Mrs. Fox a wonderful example of volunteerism and of Americans who aren't in government making an effort to try to help people in Washington.

And Martha's Table has a really wonderful history. We were just hearing that they started with nutrition. They started with feeding children and then they noticed that children wanted to stay here after they had eaten; they needed a place to stay and be safe. And so now they actually have children that are here from age three to -- three months to eight years of age. And they serve them here.

And of course, as I know all of you -- everyone who is from Washington knows, a van goes out from here and takes soup and sandwiches to locations around Washington every day, every single day of the year, so that people who are hungry can go to the van and get a sandwich and some soup.

MRS. FOX: I really appreciate the opportunity to be at Martha's Table like this, to be here with the First Lady Laura Bush. Thank you very much, Laura.

It was a great exposition last night about the Mayas, it was a really good example of the Mexican culture, a great dinner -- we could share it, so I really appreciate it.

To be here at Martha's Table is a great opportunity for me to know this model that has to do with education and nutrition, and would really like to copy the model in Mexico, because we have poor people that need good food and good education, the opportunities to be better.

So I am delighted and very grateful to be able to learn how they do it, because they have been very successful. So I will try to learn and to do the same in my country.

Q (In Spanish.)

MRS. FOX: (In Spanish.)

Q (In Spanish.)

MRS. FOX: (In Spanish.)

MRS. BUSH: That's the same in any language.

* * * * *

Q Mrs. Bush, who provides the resources for these type of centers, and what is your advice to Mrs. Fox --

MRS. BUSH: This is all volunteer. A lot of people give leftover food. Grocery stores or cafeterias that have a lot of food in the steam table that they can give, and then the food can go into the soup pot.

A lot of groups like my office staff make sandwiches once a week. They buy -- donate the bread and the baloney and cheese and then use their time to put the sandwiches together and put them in the plastic bags.

She was saying to us that everything in here, all this precious furniture for little, tiny children, the little, tiny chairs and tables were given to Martha's Table by different groups of people or, you know, churches, Sunday school classes, clubs, individuals, business. They all go together and give things to Martha's Table.

They have people who actively seek the things they need. They publish a wish list in their newsletter, so people can see. The big, big soup pots, the big commercial soup pots were given by somebody that happened to have one.

Q Mrs. Bush, do you have any plans to visit Mexico this year?

MRS. BUSH: I hope I get to visit Mexico this year, but I don't have plans right now.

Q An invitation, maybe, from the First Lady?

MRS. BUSH: We like to visit with each other, I can tell you that.

Q (In Spanish.)

MRS. FOX: (In Spanish.)

Q (In Spanish.)

MRS. FOX: (In Spanish.)

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