By: Elizabeth Tansing, Senior Director, State Government Relations, Food Marketing Institute
National Family Meals Month™ is right around the corner, and the food retail industry is gearing up for the fourth year of the campaign. The movement is gaining momentum, and our country’s elected officials are joining the party, thanks to the efforts of FMI members and state grocery and retail associations. Here are a few examples:
- Hy-Vee, Inc. was instrumental in getting South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) to proclaim September as Family Meals Month, and under the Health section of their website, Hy-Vee hosts a blog on the importance of family meals, as do many other FMI members. See our partner list here.
- In 2017, the Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) lobbied to pass House Resolution 148, declaring September as Family Meals Month, and they are at it again - this year, MRA asked for and received a proclamation from Governor Rick Snyder (R).
- Governor Mark Dayton (D) and the Minnesota Grocers Association are working together on a proclamation, and the Connecticut Food Association (CFA) has posted FMI’s Family Meals Month toolkit front and center on their website. In fact, CFA told FMI they plan to tweet once per week during September, on the benefits of eating family meals together.
- The Nebraska Grocery Industry Association (NGIA) is working with Governor Pete Ricketts (R), who will issue a proclamation on September 17, 2018. But why stop there? NGIA is also partnering with Live Well Omaha to request Mayor Jean Stothert (R) to proclaim September as Family Meals Month in Omaha.
- The Utah Food Industry Association worked with their Governor in 2017 to issue a proclamation and the Wisconsin Grocers Association is collaborating with Governor Scott Walker (R) to proclaim September as Family Meals Month.
These proclamations all highlight the important benefits of family meals including:
- Family meals are fun, affordable, and healthier than other dining options;
- Conversations around dinner tables establish closer relationships and increase parental involvement;
- Regular family meals are linked to kids earning higher grades, improving self-esteem, and resisting negative peer pressure; and
- 90 percent of supermarkets offer fresh, prepared foods, 95 percent offer cooking demos, 86 percent offer cooking classes, and 100 percent offer recipes and meal ideas
You can find more information about National Family Meals Month here: www.fmifamilymeals.com, and can find the sample proclamation in the Retailer Toolkit.