By: Susan Borra, RD, Chief Health and Wellness Officer for FMI and Executive Director of the FMI Foundation

It’s that time of year when we’re all encouraged to give back a little. Maybe you’re running a store promotion to raise money for a local charity or working with a local food back to provide families holiday meals. However you’re giving back this holiday season locally, it’s important to keep in mind how you can also pay it forward to the overall food retail industry through the FMI Foundation.

The FMI Foundation supports the food retail industry by addressing important social concerns including food safety issues, consumer education about the importance of family meals and programs that lead to operational excellence and innovation. Last year we took our traditional way of fundraising and stirred it up a little--literally. We launch the FMI Foundation Stir It Up! event at the Midwinter Executive Conference and saw great success. All-star teams of retailer and supplier executives vied for top honors and bragging rights. While companies showcased their culinary expertise, the FMI Foundation broke all previous fundraising efforts – pulling in more than $1 million.

This year, we’re again building a dynamic cooking competition that will be held Sunday, January 28, 2018, and feature retailer and supplier executives competing and dishing up the best family meal in the kitchen. Stir It Up! attendees will serve as culinary judges, choosing their favorite family meals in an array of categories showcasing the power of family meals.

Your participation provides invaluable support of the Foundation’s research and education initiatives in food safety, nutrition and health. This includes the Foundation’s continued effort to grow and promote National Family Meals Month, which encourages one more family meal at home each week. Stir it Up! has multiple levels of participation from being a starlit Executive Chef Team Leader to simply purchasing a ticket and enjoying a fun evening supporting a great cause.

Give back to your industry and join us at Stir It Up! Learn more at and watch the video for a taste of last year’s fun. I look forward to seeing you all at this exciting new event sure to showcase family meals and the culinary side of the food retail industry.