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Why Sunday Suppers?

People love to say, ‘Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’ What they don’t say is, ‘And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.’ That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.

– Trevor Noah, from his book Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

Sunday Suppers is unique in its multi-faceted approach to addressing food insecurity, healthier eating, and family connectedness. We recognize that families living in poverty face a multitude of daily challenges that impact their ability to eat healthier, together, and more affordably. We also know that these challenges cannot be addressed with a unilateral approach as they are symptoms of a much larger social problem. Our goal is to provide participants with all the tools they need to successfully reach their goals, including interactive cooking lessons, kitchen equipment, and a supportive community. We have partnerships with other organizations to ensure that our families have access to complementary services.

Unlike soup kitchens and other “feeding” programs, Sunday Suppers is a family-centered model with a hands-on, grassroots approach to supporting behavioral change. Bringing families to the family table is the core of the Sunday Suppers program.

Among the many wonderful things about being president, the best is that I get to live above the office and see my family every day. We have dinner every night. It is the thing that sustains me.

-President Barack Obama

 

In a world where so many of us are “plugged in,” coming together for dinner may be the only time for families to connect, share stories, and talk about their day. Research has shown that families who eat dinner together three or more times per week have children who are:

  • Less likely to be overweight/obese
  • More likely to eat healthier foods
  • Stronger academically
  • Less likely to engage in risky behaviors (drugs, alcohol, sexual activity)
  • More likely to have better relationships with their parents and others
  • More likely to have few emotional and behavioral problems and high self-esteem

Our program is based on family, food, education, and community, with an emphasis on supporting positive family relationships to enhance the potential for positive change. Through family dinners, participants get exposure to different foods, see produce grown in our community garden, share their own culinary heritage, and cook together. We believe that this family interaction and participation with others is vital for creating sustainable community for the families in our program.