September is National Family Meals Month,™ an industry-wide movement sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute Foundation (FMIF) to raise awareness of the benefits of frequent family meals. And when you consider that regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes that we all want for our children—higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits, and less risky behavior—it makes it the perfect tie-in to IGA’s current awareness and donation campaign with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
“Research has shown us time and time again that regular family meals play an important role when it comes to preventing substance use among adolescents,” Kaila Sassano, Vice President of Development, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, said. “Family dinners can provide a space where parents learn about both the everyday and important aspects of their children’s lives. Sitting down together at the dinner table fosters communication and trust that is essential to keeping parents informed about what’s going on in their kids’ lives.”
Susan Borra, RD, Chief Health and Wellness Officer and Executive Director of the FMI Foundation, agrees. “With the proven benefits of combating obesity and deterring unhealthy behaviors such as substance abuse, family meals contribute to a healthier community and nation.”
From a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health that found teens who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are much more likely to engage in risky behavior.
“Our goal with National Family Meals Month™ is to help retailers demonstrate the power in family meals,” Borra said. “We’ve always said the simplest way to do that is to incorporate the idea of Family Meals into your existing programs—and IGA’s affiliation with Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides the perfect backdrop for building awareness of the link between these two important issues.”
Two Great Causes, One Big Month
IGA, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and the FMI Foundation have teamed up to give you the resources you need to promote two great causes in one big month. Beginning now through the end of September, www.IGA.com will be packed with resources that make it easier and more fun for your shoppers to share more family meals.
From video and written blogs from IGA Health and Wellbeing advisor Kim Kirchherr, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, FAND, and a host of meal planning resources on IGA Better Choices, to a totally revamped IGA Cares page that brings National Family Meals Month™ and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids together in one place to demonstrate the importance of family meals, www.IGA.com has everything shoppers need to plan, prepare and share meals together as a family.
Getting the word out to your shoppers
What’s the easiest way to show IGA cares about family meals and bring to light the role family meals play in kids’ behavior? Drive shoppers to www.IGA.com with IGA-provided social media posts, like the video from Kirchherr below.
Want to take it a step further with in-store activation?
- Provide Easy Meal Solutions. National Family Meals Month™ is the perfect opportunity to promote easy meal solutions! Throughout September, feature “Family Meal of the Week” promotions that highlight any prepared meal solutions you offer from your deli. Download resources from FMI.
- Create meals solutions from Partnership-branded IGA products. Arrange end-cap displays in your store with IGA water cases, IGA hamburger and hotdog bun packs.
- Host an event. From a parking lot cookout with an ice cream social (complete with Partnership-branded IGA ice cream) to a family cooking class, there are endless opportunities to work with your local schools and other community organizations to promote family meals while benefiting Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
- Get Social with the Raise Your Mitt to Commit Campaign. Raise Your Mitt to Commit is a turnkey campaign designed to encourage customers to incorporate one more family meal at home per week. Engage with customers on social media during National Family Meals Month™ by posting hosting a photo contest where people submit oven mitt selfies showing them taking a pledge to share one more family meal per week. Drum up excitement by getting your team involved, like KJ’s Market IGA did last year.
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