By: David Fikes, Executive Director, FMI Foundation 

Testimonials to the wholesome power of family meals are everywhere, but one recently surfaced in a rather unique space. We are all familiar with Google Doodles - the temporary alternations of the Google logo on their homepage that are intended to commemorate holidays, events and historical figures. Every year Google runs a design contest for new Google Doodles, and this year's contest prompt was to create a design illustrating your response to "My wish for the next 25 years..."

The 2024 winner is Maisie Derlega, a recent high school graduate from Washington, D.C., and her Google Doodle entry illustrated the wish to retain her family's tradition of family meals. In describing her creative process, Maisie was facing the transition to college and all the changes that will bring, but felt herself drawn to a wish to hang on to the thing that matters most — her families' tradition of Sunday dinners. Her artwork pays homage to the fact that family meals have always provided her with a safe haven to bond more deeply with the people she cares about. Offering some background to the motivation for her drawing, Maisie said, "Every Sunday night is filled with chaos, laughter and the smell of food in my household. The standing invitation goes to any friends and family in the area. As my life grows and changes, my wish for the next 25 years is that this tradition remains a constant."

"My wish for the next 25 years..."
- 2024 Google Doogle Contest Prompt

The award-winning announcement was recently made on the Today Show and in the accompanying interview with the hosts, Maisie offered a powerful witness to the bond-building benefits of sharing a meal with friends and family. Watch the Interview.

We congratulate Maisie Derlega on her artistic accomplishment. As we prepare for Family Meals Month in September, we also thank her for her artwork which graphically captures the importance and power of family meals. FMI Foundation research verifies that there is almost universal recognition that family meals are good for us. We all just need the occasional inspiration and encouragement to help make them happen with our families and friends. Maisie's work and words are a wonderful prompt.

See Maisie's award-winning Family Meals Doodle     Get involved in the family meals movement