On September 24th a Family Dinner Night will be held at Morgan’s Riverside Park beginning at 6:30 PM. Free dinner will be provided to the first 400 attendants, and is catered by The Company Grill. Everyone in the community is invited to come, and to bring their family and friends! Along with the dinner, several activities will be available to participate in as a family. Several organizations in the community will have booths containing information on a variety of topics including prevention of suicide, substance abuse, and delinquency. The theme of the night is being present and being together, and the whole event is focused on enjoying a meal together as a family and as a community. There are many positive aspects and effects to eating dinner as a family. Better academic performance, higher self-esteem, greater sense of resilience, lower risk of substance abuse, lower risk of teen pregnancy, lower risk of depression, lower likelihood of developing eating disorders, and lower rates of obesity are all benefits shown to occur with consistent meals together as a family (The Family Dinner Project). Eating meals as a family also helps to strengthen family ties, which is a surprisingly huge factor in teen delinquency, suicide, and substance abuse prevention. Open communication is also a benefit, one that needs requires a lot of time together to create. Not only are teens less likely to engage in negative behaviors, but if family dinners are filled with genuine, engaged conversations then open communication can be accomplished. Then, if teens do happen to abuse a substance, or have some other issue, they know that they have someone that they can speak to deeply and honestly. Hopefully, after the event, families begin to see the benefits and continue to eat together consistently. Sponsors include the Weber Morgan Health Department, Morgan City, Parents Empowered, Morgan County School District, and Weber Human Services.
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