By: Cathy Polley, RPh, Vice President, Health & Wellness, FMI & Executive Director, FMI Foundation Cathy Polley Announces National Family Meals Month

There’s something special about sitting down to a meal with your family. It’s a time when we can all connect, rehash our days and enjoy a good meal. Numerous studies have shown the long-term health, academic and societal benefits of eating together as a family, yet, according to a 2013 Harris poll, only about 30 percent of American families share dinner every night.

Food retailers are doing more than ever to inspire and support home cooking, from quick dinner solutions, cooking classes and nutrition advice, to shortcuts like pre-prepped ingredients and freshly prepared entrees. That’s why this September the FMI Foundation is launching "National Family Meals Month." This month-long FMI member communications campaign will give the grocery industry a unified theme and turnkey promotional tools to encourage consumers to lean on their local supermarket to prepare one more family meal per week at home.

Beginning in February, FMI will offer its members a free downloadable toolkit featuring customizable promotional and social media materials that enable grocers and consumer product brands to easily integrate National Family Meals Month marketing into their existing promotional schedules. Members can access the toolkit on FMI’s Family Meals website.

This campaign will give FMI members a new way to showcase these creative meal programs throughout September and help more families gather around the kitchen table.