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Release No. 0099.18
Contact: USDA Press
Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett Applauds FLOTUS Be Best Initiative
(Washington, D.C., May 8, 2018) – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today applauded First Lady Melania Trump’s policy initiative, Be Best, a campaign focused on the holistic wellness of American children.
Hazlett issued the following statement:
“The opioid epidemic has had a devastating impact on small towns and rural places throughout our country. Yesterday, the First Lady reminded us through her Be Best initiative that children are a critical component to building rural prosperity. As more and more families in rural communities are impacted by this crisis, the First Lady’s efforts are an important voice for this next generation of rural leaders. Working together, we can build a strong foundation that supports families and children affected by the crisis. We can ensure that children living in small towns are strong, healthy and resilient when facing difficult choices and able to realize their full potential.”
At the direction of President Trump, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been keenly focused on addressing the opioid crisis in rural communities. So far, the Department has convened regional roundtables to hear firsthand accounts of the impact of the crisis and effective strategies for response in rural communities; launched a webpage on opioid misuse in rural America featuring resources for rural communities and individuals facing the crisis; and prioritized investments in two key grant programs to address the crisis in rural places. For more information about these efforts, visit the USDA rural opioid misuse webpage at www.usda.gov/opioids.