Superintendent Paul Zinni and Healthy KP Substance Use Prevention Coalition Director Oomiya Kawas are pleased to share that middle school families came together to enjoy dinner at Healthy KP’s Family Meals Matter Night last week.
Healthy KP celebrated its first Family Meals Matter Night on Thursday, April 27 at the King Philip Regional Middle School with approximately 20 attendees and another 15 volunteers.
The evening began with the showing of a newly created Family Meals Matter video that featured middle school students talking about the importance of sharing a meal together as a family.
Following the video, those in attendance enjoyed a delicious 3-course Italian meal that included salad, Italian wedding soup, baked ziti, chicken parmesan, meatballs and cookies for dessert. There were also vegetarian and gluten-free options available. All the food was generously provided by the Food Service Department.
Once all attendees had the opportunity to eat, they settled in for an evening of Family Fun Trivia hosted by A Touch Of Class DJ & Events. As part of trivia, first and second place prizes were given out to families. The first place prize consisted of a $50 Target gift card and Healthy KP Swag, and the second place prize was a $40 Cracker Barrel gift card and Healthy KP swag.
There was also a door raffle prize which consisted of a $25 Target gift card, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and some Healthy KP swag.
This was the first year the Healthy KP Coalition hosted the event, however, they plan to host this event either annually or bi-annually in the future.
“Every September is National Family Meals Matter Month, and with this event, we really wanted to highlight the importance of taking the time to share a meal as a family not just in September, but all year long,” Director Kawas said. “Our slogan for this event is: Family Meals Matter- for YOU and for THEM. Eat together to connect, connect together to prevent.”
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University says that the more often children eat dinner with their parents, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, or use illicit drugs. The center compared teens who dined with families five or seven times a week with those who did so twice or less. Those who ate together more often were four times less likely to smoke, 2.5 times less likely to use marijuana, and half as likely to drink alcohol.
Director Kawas and Healthy KP would like to thank the Food Service Department and Director Mary Ann Reynolds for their support and Ken and Brad of A Touch Of Class DJ & Events for being amazing trivia hosts. They would also like to thank all the attendees and volunteers who made the event so special.