By: David Fikes, Executive Director, FMI Foundation 

Fred Rodgers, longtime host and creator of the television series, Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood, once issued a challenge to his millions of adoring fans: “Try your best to make goodness attractive. That's one of the toughest assignments you'll ever be given.” Indeed, messages that encourage goodness seem to be harder and harder to come by. Still, there are a litany of spaces that encourage community and togetherness. One such space is the grocery store.  

While walking down the aisles, perusing the perimeter or waiting in the checkout line, one could be greeted by any number of neighbors, friends and colleagues who have a life update, interesting story or laugh to share. This public forum naturally reminds us of our shared needs and common humanity. Recognizing their unique role in society, many food retailers and suppliers have gone a step further in making goodness attractive by taking part in the FMI Foundation’s National Family Meals MonthTM campaign. 

Throughout the month of September and beyond, participating organizations develop creative and impactful programs that encourage people to have more meals with their families, however they define them. Examples of program tactics include recommendations for healthy family meals and themed dinners, social media campaigns, conversation starter guides, kid-friendly cooking classes, food drives, insightful infographics and much more.  

Without such wholesome advocacy from our retailer, supplier and community collaborator partners, the Family Meals Movement would not be possible. That’s why the FMI Foundation created the annual Gold Plate Awards to celebrate the most outstanding family meals programs. Unlike previous years, the 2022 awards ceremony will take the form of a live, virtual event, hosted by myself and FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin. This year’s Gold Plate Awards Celebration will showcase our nominees, share valuable family meals program strategies and announce our 2022 recipients. 

We encourage all family meals advocates to tune in on Dec. 14, 2022, at 3 p.m. EST. Add the event to your calendars and access the YouTube livestream below.

Gold Plate Awards Ceremony