National campaign focuses on importance of spending time with family
Family dinner night may an outdated concept for the modern family.
“Research does show that families aren't getting together as much as they used to,” said Barb Gross, family resource services manager with Community Links.
“We’re all overbooked with life in general. With electronics that take over our lives and so many other aspects of our lives that are not conducive to building relationships, spending time together as a family is critical.”
It’s part of the reason why the Canadian-based convenience food chain, M&M Meats Shops, is encouraging families to reunite at the dinner table with its annual National Family Dinner Night.
“(Family time) helps in every way, in regards to discipline, communication, social skills building,” Gross said. “If we aren’t connecting, we aren’t building those relationships.”
Brian Kaspick, M&M Meats Shops’ western region general manager, said the chain hopes to bring families together in the eighth year of the event.
“People are always going in 100 million directions,” he said. “More people are identifying it as being important.”
Families who make the effort to sit down and enjoy a family meal together from Sept. 4 to Sept. 20 can enter to win a $500 gift certificate online to M&M Meats.
“It’s something fundamental and basic, but it doesn’t happen,” Kaspick said. “Talking and having a family meal together is important.”
Kaspick said he experiences a busy lifestyle with his family.
“We’re eating drive-through while (the kids are) playing soccer or hockey,” he said, adding the event will hopefully bring awareness of the importance of slowing down.
The campaign promotes family time but also raises funds for the Crohn’s and colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC), a foundation researching cures for the two similar health conditions also known as inflammatory bowel disease.
“Canada has the highest incidents of Chrohn’s and colitis in the world,” Kaspick said. “It’s not sexy. There’s no known cause or cure.”
Last year’s nation-wide event raised $45,000 for the foundation, which M&M Meats has supported for more than 20 years.
Kaspick said M&M Meat Shops has raised more than $23 million for the foundation to date.
“Even if they don’t support the charity it’s important to take time to spend quality time together,” he said.
To register for National Family Dinner Night and/or make a donation to the CCFC, visit www.nationalfamilydinnernight.com between Sept. 4 and Sept. 20. The draw will be held on Sept. 24.