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Family Dinner as a Sanctuary

SFF logoRecently, our staff has been excited about planning some events as part of a new partnership with an organization whose mission is near and dear to many of our hearts. While we are always enthusiastic about working with each of our partners in the community, there is something special about the idea of helping families in crisis through the power of shared meals. We’ll have the opportunity to do just that, through upcoming work with the amazing people at Sanctuary for Families in their After-School Enrichment Program.

Sanctuary for Families is devoted exclusively to helping survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and their children. When you think of offering help and support to people impacted by trauma, you might not instantly think about family dinners. But we believe that bringing families in crisis together at the table and helping them to experience positive interactions around shared meals can play an important role in their healing.

Research shows that:

  • Family dinners can be an important ritual during times of great stress or transition, because they help to sustain the family unit and provide a reliable touchpoint in the day
  • Children who feel connected to their family stories are more resilient than children who don’t, and the family dinner table can be a place for telling those stories and making connections
  • Families who eat dinner together report experiencing lower levels of stress and anxiety – a fact for both parents and children

For these reasons, along with many others – such as the lower incidence of risky behaviors among kids who regularly eat dinner with their families, and the higher self-esteem experienced by members of families who establish a mealtime ritual – we believe that family dinner can be a vital tool for parents and children who have been affected by trauma. By providing meaningful family dinner experiences and modeling positive communication at events with the clients at Sanctuary for Families, we hope to plant the seeds of good habits that the families can continue to practice lifelong.

If your organization works with families who have been impacted by trauma, and you would like to learn more about the possibility of bringing The Family Dinner Project to your clients, please contact us.

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