By: Tom Cosgrove, Manager, Program and Development, FMI Foundation

Food City Gold PlateAs summer fast approaches, we’re looking forward to gatherings filled with family, friends, sunny days and great food. We enjoy family meals no matter the time of year with all different types of families - be it relatives, friends, or our work family and we encourage you to do the same. Our favorite time of the year, National Family Meals Month™ in September, is quickly approaching. There’s still time to put together programming to celebrate!  To help you get ready for September, we’d like to highlight one of our Gold Plate Award winners, K-VA-T Food Stores.

The goal of Food City, the banner of K-VA-T Food Stores, is to help families enjoy at least one more meal together at home each week. This echoed the National Family Meal Month™ campaign, by providing meal solutions and recipes to make dinner planning and preparation easier. Food City broke this goal down into two steps: educating their associates and consumers and then engaging both of those groups.

Food City was selected for a Gold Plate Award for their omnichannel campaign that excelled in community outreach. To educate and engage their consumers, Food City used in-store, social media, print, and community strategies to spread the message of National Family Meals Month™ far and wide. Elizabeth Hall, a Food City dietitian, appeared on local television stations to promote the message of National Family Meals Month™ and showcase their recipes and meal solutions. In addition, Food City presented at community centers, city festivals, and health fairs with local healthcare systems. Their Healthy Initiatives and marketing teams showcased cooking demonstrations, meal planning, recipes, and healthy lifestyle advice at these events throughout the month.

In-store, Food City had signage and recipe booklets highlighting family meals. They also engaged their own employees by highlighting the benefits internally and providing consultations with their Healthy Initiatives team. This team, championed by Elizabeth Hall, also created a flier that shared the benefits of family meals.

Digitally, Food City promoted the month through social media, their website, and blog. The most notable digital presence was the dedicated section for information about family meals and recipes on the Food City website.

Congratulations to Steve Smith and the Food City team! We’re counting down the days to September and looking forward to seeing how you all celebrate National Family Meals Month™ this year. How will you be participating? Find resources, ideas and more at