Written by Jerry Golub, CEO
What do the following TV shows have in common?
Two and a Half Men
The answer is that they all depict a version of the American family in today’s world. Whether multi-generational, single parent, mixed race, alternative lifestyle, or even what many would consider the “traditional” American family, the make-up of the family structure in the United States is much different than it was thirty years ago. In short, we’ve evolved well beyond “Ozzie and Harriet” or “Leave It to Beaver”, to a society where families are defined much more diversely than ever before.
When we speak about our higher purpose of helping people feed and care for themselves and their families, we think of families in the broadest sense. A great example of this is the customer who told us he shops at one of our stores for a volunteer fire department. He is preparing meals for a group of individuals who bond like family. In fact, we want to be there for our customers and their families, however they are defined.
One thing is clear, however: no matter how you may define your family, having meals together brings you closer. For families with children, there are many studies that document the benefits of having regular family meals, including an increased parent-child connection, higher scholastic performance, and a lower incidence of substance abuse, among others. Food certainly nurtures the body, but the opportunity enjoy it with the people who you care about most can also nurture the soul!
That’s why we support National Family Meals Month with our annual September ‘Family Mealtimes Matter’ program, which provides tips, recipes and nutritional guidance that encourages families to enjoy one more meal together each week. This program is our way highlighting the many benefits of family meals. Sure, it’s also good for our business, but it goes well beyond that. In today’s chaotic world, it’s always good to know that there are people who are there for you, and vice versa. Spending time with the ones we love helps us to remember what’s truly important in our lives, doesn’t it?
Crosby, Stills and Nash got it right with this song—with our actions, we are truly guiding the next generation.