September is National Family Meals Month™, a food retail industry-wide movement to raise awareness of the benefits of frequent family meals. Join us, the trade association for food retail, as we work collaboratively with retailers, food manufacturers, and health organizations nationwide to bring families back to the table to share one more meal at home per week. We invite you to join the movement and celebrate National Family Meals Month™ in September. Your organization can participate in National Family Meals Month™ in any way that complements your mission and current programming. This toolkit is designed to inspire, and demonstrate how you can implement National Family Meals Month™ this September.
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF TOOLKIT
The movement begins with showing your support and enthusiasm for family meals by telling your audience and staff about the many benefits of sharing more meals at home as a family. These key messages and research can aid in communicating the importance of family meals and participating in National Family Meals Month™. Share the following and incorporate into your internal and external messaging. For simplicity, you can repackage existing content and programming.
We care about the health of you and your family! That’s why we are celebrating National Family Meals Month™ in September, a nationwide event designed to share the benefits of family meals on the health of children and adults alike.
We’re helping your family eat well and be well together.
Did you know that 63% of Americans decide what to eat less than an hour before eating? (SOURCE: HARTMAN GROUP, 2013)
Researchers and health experts endorse and promote the lifelong benefits of family meals.
September, back-to-school season, is the perfect time to commit to sharing one more family meal at home per week.
You and your family are an important face of the National Family Meals Month™ movement! Engage with us and show your commitment to more meals together on social media.
Created by the Food Marketing Institute Foundation, National Family Meals Month™ is a nationwide event designed to bring health advocates, grocers, and food manufacturers together in support of the benefits of family meals and underscore the role of these partnerships in helping families create and share more meals at home.
Did you know that research shows that eating meals as a family can have far-reaching health and wellness benefits to individuals and the community? Family meals have been associated with increased diet quality, better weight management, as well as improved mental health, academic performance, and more.
With a collective and coordinated message, we’re joining with grocers, retailers, and health organizations nationwide to encourage families to share one more meal at home per week; remind them that our organization is advocating for their health and well-being every day; and support them in implementing this important, healthy and enjoyable behavior.
Researchers, health experts and popular media are endorsing and promoting the lifelong benefits of family meals. (Find research and data on health benefits and impact of National Family Meals Month™ in the next section.)
September, back-to-school season, is the perfect time to encourage and support our audience in committing to share one more family meal at home per week.
We’re leveraging social media this September to activate our community to engage with National Family Meals Month™ and to get families interacting about enjoying mealtime together.
Family mealtime starts with us. Raise Your Mitt to Commit to one more meal, as a family, each week.
For more research, check out the full Community Collaborators Toolkit.
See all supporting research
September is for back-to-school and time for families to establish new routines. It is the perfect time to position your organization as an essential ally for busy families to create healthy habits, and leverage the new school year to make family meals an integral part of their new routine. By reminding families why and how your association is investing in providing solutions for every family, you’ll build community loyalty and generate awareness for your cause.
Looking for ways to change up your existing campaigns? The simplest way to build on the power of Family Meals Month™ is to incorporate it into your existing programming. The next several pages contain activation ideas and thought starters to do just that. Don’t forget to let the FMI Foundation know what you’re planning!
On Social Media
In the first several years of Family Meals Month™ implementation, FMI has noted trends in implementation excellence. One of these is joining forces to collaboratively develop and execute programs for Family Meals Month™. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts!
These infographics, available in both English and Spanish, depict additional research that support the benefits of family meals. Click on an image to enlarge it to download and share.
Click here for more infographics
Note that National Family Meals Month™ logos are adaptable for use across every category and in every department. Consider using them to promote meal-related products.
PNG | JPG | EPS
You can put National Family Meals Month™ on the map, and improve public health at the same time, by spreading the message with hashtag #familymealsmonth and encouraging your audience to raise their oven mitts in commitment to sharing one more meal at home per week.
Use hashtag #familymealsmonth to help your mission and organization get the attention and recognition it deserves. FMI will track engagement nationwide and curate content.
The following are sample posts and tweets that can be tailored to your organization’s unique voice.
10 Second Tag
SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL FAMILY MEALS MONTH. RAISE YOUR OVEN MITT TO COMMIT TO ONE MORE FAMILY MEAL AT HOME PER WEEK – BECAUSE FAMILY MEALS MAKE FAMILIES STRONGER.
30 Second Radio/ PSA
IT’S SEPTEMBER - A NEW SCHOOL YEAR WITH NEW ROUTINES. SEPTEMBER IS ALSO NATIONAL FAMILY MEALS MONTH™ AND (ORGANIZATION’S NAME) BELIEVES IN THE BENEFITS OF GATHERING FAMILIES AROUND THE TABLE. WE’RE HERE TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR FAMILIES TO SHARE ONE MORE MEAL AT HOME PER WEEK. WHETHER YOU NEED TIME-EFFICIENT RECIPES, CREATIVE IDEAS, NUTRITIOUS TIPS, OR A NUDGE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TOWARD YOUR SUPERMARKET’S WEALTH OF MEALTIME RESOURCES– (ORGANIZATION NAME) HAS A SOLUTION FOR MANIC MEALTIME. DURING NATIONAL FAMILY MEALS MONTH™ WE INVITE YOU TO RAISE YOUR OVEN MITT TO COMMIT TO ONE MORE FAMILY MEAL AT HOME PER WEEK – BECAUSE FAMILY MEALS MAKE FAMILIES STRONGER.
YOUR LOGO HERE
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: PR contact’s name
(xxx) xxx-xxxx, firstname.lastname@example.org
[YOUR COMPANY NAME] Commits to Helping Families Eat at Home Together More Often During National Family Meals Month™
The proven health and societal benefits of family meals inspire a month-long event aimed at helping families get back to the table
YOUR CITY, STATE – September, day, 2018 – With an aim to inspire families to eat at home together more often, as a service to public health, [name of organization] is celebrating National Family Meals Month™ in September, encouraging families to share one more meal together per week at home, and highlighting simple, healthy meal resources to make it easier for families raise their mitt to commit to making these meals happen.
Numerous studies underscore the long-term health, academic, and societal benefits of consistently eating together as a family, yet, according to a 2013 Harris poll, only 30 percent of American families share dinner every night. In addition, recent research proves that people who frequently cook at home eat fewer and healthier calories. And the National Family Meals Month™ movement works! Research from the 2016 campaign shows that 85% of shoppers said they took action after seeing the campaign. Further, 95% of those who saw the campaign on social media and/or email said that their consumption and/or shopping behavior changed.
“September is the perfect month to spotlight the long-term benefits of family meals, and start a conversation that encourages and inspires people to return to the kitchen,” said [organization spokesperson, title]. “Juggling the demands of modern life—school, sports, jobs and long commutes— can sabotage the best laid plans for home-cooked meals. In addition to our commitment to public health overall, we want to have a hand in helping our audience make wholesome meals together, at home, a modern family tradition.”
“Interest in creating more opportunities for families to eat meals together is at a critical point in our society,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute, creator of National Family Meals Month™. “The will to return to the table exists, but families need a friendly, familiar voice to encourage, guide and help them. That voice comes from organizations they know and trust. Join us as we work collaboratively with retailers, food manufacturers, and health organizations from across the country to bring families back to the table to share one more meal at home per week.”
Recognizing mealtime struggles are real and shared by families of all shapes and size
Grocers and food manufacturers are offering more solutions than ever before, giving shoppers the tools they need to make one more family meal at home per week and [name of organization] has the resources to help consumers connect the dots and implement a plan. Shoppers can utilize the following resources from our website: [Link to your National Family Meals Month™ “landing page” of online resources]
Raise Your Mitt to Commit™ to One More Meal at Home per Week
[Organization name] is encouraging our community to join the National Family Meals Month™ movement by pledging to one more meal at home per week. Make it official, and shareable, by posting a selfie wearing your favorite oven mitt with the hashtag #familymealsmonth. Follow [Organization name] on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation this September.
About National Family Meals Month™
As the voice of food retail, the Food Marketing Institute created National Family Meals Month™ as a nationwide, annual event to highlight the mealtime solutions offered by grocers and to encourage families to share one more meal at home per week.
About [your organization]
Insert your standard boilerplate here.
# # #
'Source Note: Cornell University College of Human Ecology Department of Policy Analysis and Management: Do Family Meals Really Make a Difference?, Eliza Cook, Rachel Dunifon. 2012; Accessed [date], http://www.human.cornell.edu/pam/outreach/upload/Family-Mealtimes-2.pdf
Download the toolkit here.
[YOUR ORGANIZATION’S NAME] Commits to Helping Families Eat at Home Together More Often During National Family Meals Month™
With an aim to inspire families to eat at home together more often, to foster the best health possible for individuals and families now and into the future. We are proud to celebrate National Family Meals Month™! During September, we encourage families to share one more meal together per week and we will highlight tips, resources, information, inspiration, and simple, healthy meal solutions to help make that happen.
Did you know that numerous studies underscore the long-term health, academic and societal benefits of consistently eating together as a family? Home-cooked meals nourish the spirit, brain, and health of all family members. Not to mention, people who frequently cook at home eat fewer and healthier calories.' Additionally, regular family meals are linked to the kinds of outcomes that we all want for our children: higher grades and self-esteem, healthier eating habits and less risky behavior.
However, according to a 2013 Harris poll, only 30 percent of American families share dinner every night. Why is this? Yes, juggling jobs, kids and the demands of a busy, modern life often come at the expense of family mealtime at home. But, this doesn’t need to be the case. You have allies all around you to provide solutions to your mealtime dilemma. We are committed to helping your family eat well to be well together and have these resources to bring to the table: [INSERT RESOURCES THAT YOUR ORGANIZATION IS PROVIDING IN YOUR NATIONAL FAMILY MEALS MONTH™ CAMPAIGN].
So, as the new school year starts, we challenge you to renew your commitment to creating and serving meals at home that nourish your kids and your whole family, because family meals make families stronger. Pledge to Raise Your Mitt to Commit™ to sharing one more family meal at home per week. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for family meal- focused content, including shopping tips and recipes. [insert company social media handles]. Share your own family meal experiences, misadventures, and solutions within your social channels. And, remember, use the hashtag #familymealsmonth to be part of the conversation!
'Source: Cornell University College of Human Ecology Department of Policy Analysis and Management: Do Family Meals Really Make a Difference?, Eliza Cook, Rachel Dunifon. 2012; Accessed [date], http://www.human.cornell.edu/pam/outreach/upload/Family-Mealtimes-2.pdf
The following contains questions and answers that can be used to answer inquiries within your company and beyond. Click a question to expand and reveal the answer.
i. 2014 FGI Research commissioned by The Monday Campaign
ii. The Hartman Group
iii. Meier, A. & Musick, K., Variation in Associations between Family Dinners and Adolescent Well-Being, Journal of Marriage & Family, 2014.; Hammonds, A.J. & Fiese, B.A., Is Frequency of Shared Meals Related to Nutritional Health of Adolescents? Pediatrics 2011
iv. Jerica M. Berge, PhD, MPH, LMFT, CFLE, and colleagues from the University of Minnesota and Columbia University
v. Study conducted by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2014
© 2019 Food Marketing Institute. All rights reserved.
2345 Crystal Drive, Suite 800,
Arlington, VA 22202
Web design and development by Matrix Group International, Inc. ®