Raley’s Celebrates Family Day with St. John’s Shelter

Serving dinner at St. John's

Media Center: Press Release: 
Raley's, St. John's Shelter Program For Women & Children Celebrate Family Day: A Day To Eat With Your Children
Focus on Gathering Family Together For Dinner and Conversation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (September 21, 2011) – What is something you have wanted to learn to do and why? Describe a perfect day – where would you be, who would be with you, what would you be doing? These and many more questions were asked as part of a conversation starter workshop to foster better communication skills for nearly 100 women and their children tonight at St. John’s Shelter Program for Women and Children as part of Family Day – A Day to Eat With Your Children.

Raley’s Family of Fine Stores and St. John’s Shelter Program for Women & Children celebrated National Family Day with a special dinner served by company leaders to homeless women and children. Established by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, Family Day – A Day to Eat With Your Children is a national effort to inform parents that gathering together regularly for dinner has great benefit for kids as research shows they were less likely to smoke, drink and use drugs. Additional research found that family meal time is key to better achievement scores and fewer behavioral problems.   

“For decades, millions of Americans gathered around the dinner table to talk about their day and reconnect but over the years, demands on time and a variety of societal issues have combined to make a family dinner a rarity for many people,” said Jennifer Teel-Wolter, community relations manager for Raley’s. “When we learned of the of the statistics, we knew we had to get involved to celebrate family meals, offer innovative meal solutions to make dinner preparation both easier and quicker while encouraging people to begin a dialogue with their family.”

Research from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University found that the more often kids ate dinner with their families they achieved better achievement scores and fewer behavioral problems. While increased academic performance, decreased drug use and healthier eating patterns are seen in teens who have frequent family dinners (five to seven per week) versus those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week), the critical component is for the family to not only gather but focus on conversing with one another.

"We welcome Raley’s involvement and support for our life skills program.  Improved communication skills are critical to finding a job; succeeding at school and being able to share who you are,” said Rachele Burton, community and government relations manager for St. John’s Shelter Program for Women and Children. She added, “Communication skills also provide benefits to children by developing self-confidence they can take to the classroom.”

To reinforce the importance of communication skills, Raley’s and St. John’s developed a list of conversation starters to spark a dialogue and involve all members of any family. The list of conversation starters were passed out to every table and will remain in the dining room at St. John’s Shelter. Raley’s has also placed the conversation starter on its website at www.raleys.com

Company leaders served Raley’s To Go Fresh Meals meals and entrees from the new Chef’s Creation product line to the participants at the shelter. The new Chef’s Creation entrees are designed to provide great tasting meals with fresh ingredients in an easy-to-prepare format intended to encourage families to dine together and focus time on one another instead of a cookbook and dishwasher.

Added Raley’s Teel-Wolter, “As we learned tonight, serving a meal to families in need can be as meaningful as sharing a meal with your own family. St. John’s always welcomes volunteers to assist in serving meals to its shelter residents just visit their website at volunteer@stjohnshelter.org.”

Raley’s also announced that it is providing a voucher good for a week’s worth of Raley’s To Go Meals and a gift card to graduates of the St. John’s Life Skills program to help them overcome the initial challenge of setting up a pantry.

Raley's is a privately owned supermarket chain with headquarters in West Sacramento, CA. The company is comprised of four chains — Raley's, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source — located in Northern California and Nevada.

St. John’s Shelter Program for Women and Children is an emergency shelter offering a 90-day program for homeless women and children that focuses on job training and promoting life skills to reintegrate these women into society as self-sufficient, productive, healthy citizens.





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