Over the past decade, The Family Dinner Project has had the opportunity to engage with many community leaders through events and partnerships. We’re continually inspired by the dedication and passion shown by these influencers, who work tirelessly to improve their families, schools and communities through a variety of means, including strengthening family dinners. Now we’re pleased to announce that we’ll be joining a group of these passionate leaders in Montana on November 2 and 3, 2017, working together to provide training and resources so they can bring The Family Dinner Project into their communities.
We know that strong families make strong communities, and strong communities can lift up families, forming a continuous network of support that benefits everyone. Many of the obstacles individual families face in having more frequent and meaningful shared meals can be minimized when support for the family dinner goes beyond the kitchen table and is understood and nurtured outside the home as well. Our goal is to work within communities to identify leaders who can go on to become Family Dinner Champions — people with the knowledge, skills and resources to help put the benefits of shared meals back on the menu. Beginning in Montana with our new Champions Training, we’ll be teaching partners to integrate our model of food, fun and conversation into their programming through our popular Community Dinner model and our research-backed Four Week Program for families.
In order to improve the accessibility and feasibility of family dinners for all, we’ll also be using this opportunity to introduce our new Dinner Tonight: Budget Friendly program, a free online pilot developed specifically with the needs of food-insecure families in mind. Tailored to the federal SNAP guidelines, this meal planning program is based on our successful Dinner Tonight program, with special consideration for meeting nutritional needs within tight budgetary constraints.
Through collaboration with Montana No Kid Hungry, a public-private partnership between the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Governor’s office, Americorps VISTA and Share Our Strength (a national non-profit), The Family Dinner Project looks forward to meeting and nurturing new Family Dinner Champions as we kick off a year-long pilot program with our upcoming two-day training schedule. A group of dedicated Prevention Resource Center Americorps VISTAs serving with the Montana No Kid Hungry project in communities across the state will be trained and then organize pilots in the communities they serve. We invite you to stay tuned for the launch of Dinner Tonight: Budget Friendly and for news and updates from our partners in Montana as our work together progresses.