By: Cathy Polley, RPh, Vice President, Health & Wellness, FMI & Executive Director, FMI Foundation

Mark your operational calendars—there’s a new month coming to food retail this September. National Family Meals Month™ is an industrywide event created by the Food Marketing Institute and the FMI Foundation to celebrate grocers’ contributions to family mealtime and spark a nationwide family meals movement encouraging families to share one more meal at home per week.

Families across the country want to share more meal occasions together at home, but family mealtime can be a stressful proposition for busy parents. According to a 2013 Harris poll, only one-third of American families share dinner every night. When coupled with prevailing shopper trends, the result spells opportunity for food retailers to position themselves as an advocate for families by helping their customers return to the family table.

NFMM ToolkitAs the association of food retailers, FMI is here to help you realize the opportunity. The National Family Meals Month™ Retailer and Manufacturer Toolkits are designed to inspire your unique approach to activation and provide you with the assets necessary to implement in-store and through marketing and communication channels. The toolkit downloads are free—all you have to do is register or login when prompted. Getting started is easy. Here’s how:

Step 1: Learn more about FMI’s family meal initiatives, including National Family Meals Month™ and our Gold Plate Award recognition program by visiting

Step 2: Join the family meals movement! Click the mitt icon to sign up for FMI’s Family Meals e-Newsletter. Designed with brevity in mind, to keep you current, we’ll provide you with new resources each month to help you rally for family meals during National Family Meals Month™. 

Step 3: Pick your path—retailer or manufacturer—and explore the National Family Meals Month™ Toolkit. Help us lead the family meals movement by championing the integration of National Family Meals Month™ into your company’s operational calendars.

We look forward to working together with food retailers and their manufacturer partners to raise national awareness of the benefits of family meals and the many ways grocers are helping their customers share one more meal at home per week.