U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Lends His Support to Let’s Go! and the 5-2-1-0 Message

Authored by Karen Schebaum

Secretary Vilsack delivering his speach.

Secretary Vilsack highlighted the outstanding work of our Let’s Go! program, a message echoed by MMC President and CEO Rich Petersen.

Let’s Go! was thrilled and honored that Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, visited Maine Medical Center last week to highlight the importance of childhood nutrition. The selection of MMC for his visit was largely due to the work of the Let’s Go! team. As Secretary Vilsack said, “The work that you are doing with Let’s Go! is really what it’s all about…The 5-2-1-0 program is great, easy to remember.” He then went on to acknowledge that “the First Lady’s Let’s Move initiative …is obviously an extension of the Let’s Go! initiative.” We want to extend Secretary Vilsack’s acknowledgement of Let’s Go!’s success to all of our partners across the state and nation who have worked so hard to bring our program model and its 5-2-1-0 message to life in their communities. The impact that Let’s Go! and its partners have had is a testament to the value that we as a Maine community place on the health and success of our youth. Thank you!




Dr. Tory Rogers introducing Secretary Vilsack

Victoria Rogers, Director of the Let’s Go! program at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, told the group, “There is a clear link between healthy eating, overall health, and learning and development.”

As Secretary Vilsack so eloquently summed up, “We believe it requires us to work collaboratively and in partnership. And we may have differences of opinion about certain aspects of this, but we all ought to be sold on the notion that in order for these youngsters who are behind us and the youngsters that we care about to have the greatest opportunity for success, we as a country, we as adults, we as parents and grandparents have got to make sure that we help them make the best and healthiest choices they can make because it is central to their success, and their success is central to our country’s success.”


The event was well covered by the media and coverage can be found in the following locations:




Press Herald


Business Week


Wall Street Journal

Lincoln Middle School student Ezra, reciting the 5-2-1-0 message

Lincoln Middle School student Ezra, recited the 5-2-1-0 message to the audience.


Secretary Vilsack and Portland Students

Students from Longfellow Elementary School and Lincoln Middle School joined the Secretary.







Karen Schebaum is a manager of the Kids CO-OP, Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center – Home Office for Let’s Go!.