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The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Foundation has joined forces with the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA Columbia) to mark Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children. FMI’s supermarket retailer and wholesaler members nationwide are rolling out initiatives tell families about the importance of eating meals together.
Introduced by CASA Columbia in 2001, Family Day is a national movement inviting parents to eat dinner frequently with their children and be involved in their lives. CASA Columbia’s research has consistently found that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs. Those kids are also more likely to get better grades in school and to say they have an excellent relationship with their parents, and they’re less likely to have friends who smoke, drink or use drugs.
“The supermarket industry supports this important focus on bringing families together around the dinner table” noted Leslie G. Sarasin, president and CEO of Arlington, Va.-based FMI, and president of the FMI Foundation.Families engaged in sharing a meal together reap the benefits of shared lives and shared support; and if they make half their plates fruits and vegetables, shared nutritional advantages. We encourage parents to take the Family Day Pledge at www.CASAFamilyDay.org.”
“America's drug problem is not going to be solved in courtrooms or legislative hearing rooms by judges and politicians,” added Joseph A. Califano Jr., chairman and founder of New York-based Casa Columbia, and the former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. “It will be solved in living rooms and dining rooms and across kitchen tables – by parents and families. Family dinners and the communication that occurs over the course of a meal are critical in building a relationship with your children and to understanding the world in which they live.”