Celebrity Adds Muscle to Family Meals Month Sep 3, 2019 Robert Irvine Boosts Family Meals Movement ARLINGTON, VA – As National Family Meals Month™ is observed for the fifth year in a row this September, celebrated chef and culinary personality Robert Irvine adds his star power to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation’s campaign to encourage Americans to strive for just one more family meal per week at home. Irvine is the latest luminary to join approximately 230 partners – food retailers, suppliers, collaborators, media and celebrities – who are supporting consumers in making family meals a reality and, in turn, helping them reap the physical, social and psychological benefits of doing so. Recognized for his tough-love tactics on top Food Network shows Restaurant: Impossible, Dinner: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America, Irvine has become a significant advocate for promoting the importance of family meals. This year, Irvine published a new book called Family Table By Robert Irvine in which he shares insight about how to create strong family bonds by coming together in the kitchen and at the table based on his personal family experiences. In it, he highlights more than 70 of his all-time favorite family-style recipes. Irvine joined forces this year with the FMI Foundation as emcee for its lead fundraiser and to more broadly help publicize National Family Meals Month by sharing his recipes and endorsement for the cause in syndicated food features and social media videos. “The family meals movement is a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” Irvine explains. “Now more than ever, distractions are all around us – we’re drowning in technology and inundated with voices other than our own and those closest to us. This movement is an urgent call for families to refocus on what’s most important, which is family. And in my experience, a strong family connection starts in the kitchen.” Researchers and health experts endorse and promote the lifelong benefits of family meals. Numerous studies show that home-cooked meals nourish the spirit, brain and health of all family members. Moreover, 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. “We are quite proud to be adding Chef Irvine as an ambassador of the social, emotional, mental and nutritional value of the family meal,” notes Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI. “This cause is an authentic one for him and a natural extension of his entire portfolio of work. We welcome the creativity and muscle mass his celebrity power brings to this movement that encourages one more meal together each week using items from the grocery store.” Nielsen data impressively substantiates that mealtime behaviors are changing because of National Family Meals Month! Nine out of 10 consumers said they took action after seeing the campaign in September 2018. Top consumer behavior changes reported include: Cooking more meals at home (43%). Making healthier food choices (37%). Eating together as a family more often (33%). Purchasing more fruits and vegetables (32%). These data provide extraordinary proof that this campaign is building momentum to change awareness, attitudes and behaviors around family meals. Background: The FMI Foundation encourages Americans to join the National Family Meals Month movement by pledging to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week using items from the grocery store. Shoppers can post pledge photos, mealtime pictures, favorite recipes and shopping tips or even post a selfie wearing a favorite oven mitt with the hashtag #FamilyMealsMonth. In addition, the FMI Foundation has developed a website, www.NationalFamilyMealsMonth.org with consumer tips and links to numerous partners committed to helping consumers achieve their increased family meals goal. Irvine’s new book, Family Table can be found at www.FamilyTableBook.com. A portion of the book’s proceeds will fund the Robert Irvine Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded by Chef Irvine to support the individuals and organizations committed to enriching the lives of our military personnel (active, retired and veterans) and their families. About the FMI Foundation Established in 1996, the FMI Foundation seeks to ensure continued quality and efficiency in the food retailing system and is operated for charitable, educational and scientific purposes. To help support the role of food retailing, the FMI Foundation focuses on research and education in the areas of food safety, nutrition and health. For information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org. About Robert Irvine With more than 25 years in the culinary profession, Chef Robert Irvine has cooked his way through Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean and the Americas, in hotels and on the high seas. As the host of one of the Food Network’s highest rated shows, Restaurant: Impossible, Irvine saves struggling restaurants across America by assessing and overhauling the restaurant’s weakest spots. Irvine was previously the host of Food Network’s Dinner: Impossibleand Worst Cooks in America, has authored four cookbooks—the most recent of which is Family Table By Robert Irvine. Irvine is currently on tour with his new, interactive live show Robert Irvine Live, and appears regularly as an expert guest on national morning and daytime talk shows. In 2015, Irvine launched Robert Irvine Foods, a company that features a nutritionally improved line of food products without compromising great taste. Irvine recently established the eponymously named non-profit organization, The Robert Irvine Foundation, in an effort to support military personnel and their families. For more information on Chef Robert Irvine, visit http://www.ChefIrvine.com.