It’s not unusual to find families gathered around a table for a Sunday night dinner. The Singletons Kitchen program has always been a staple in the services we provide, but something special has started on Sunday nights for these single parents with cancer and their children.
Thanks to Ocean Poke and Bob’s Redmill, on a warm night in June, the Singletons families shared what we hope will be the first of many Sunday Night Dinners together. A simple new tradition that we hope will allow new friendships to develop, provide a new level of community support, and create lots of smiles along the way. Food brings people together and companionship brings us comfort, especially when times are tough.
We challenge you to join us in getting back to shared family meals.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind if you are making an effort to gather around the table:
- Create Comfort: Comfort food always seems to make us feel good, but a shared meal is more than just food. According to our long time partners at Dream Dinners, “true comfort, the kind that heals emotional hurts and turns around bad days, involves far more than our palates.” The word comfort means to make strong (like a fortress). “So to comfort literally means to make someone stronger. And that’s exactly what you do for your children…provide a wholesome meal and the love that’s served with it, you are helping to make your children stronger.”
- Practice Makes Progress: Sometimes it’s just a challenge to get everyone around the table at the same time. Here’s some facts that might help you motivate your efforts. 65% of parents agree they generally feel less stressed when they eat dinner together as a family. 75% of kids appreciate their parents more when they take time to share a meal together. “The experience- of a slow start to a shared dinner time- is typical, which is why some families give eating together a whirl only to find that it doesn’t work so well for them initially and therefore give up. In reality, however, it’s more likely that they just didn’t give it enough time…in about one month’s time, family dinner morphs from a chore to something they look forward to.” Study after study shows this simple act of sharing meals with the people you care about has lasting positive effects and backs up this point. “Supper is about nourishment of all kinds” – Miriam Wienstein
- Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details: Family dinners are not necessarily primarily about food but about the company and the conversation. If there’s no other option, you can connect just as well over delivery pizzas some nights as you can over something homemade, as long as you gather to enjoy the time together as you eat. Studies show it only takes 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to make a lasting difference.
So cheers to sharing meals together with family. Cheers to Singletons Sunday Night Dinners. We know how important a simple act of shared meals can be and it’s why we’ve served over 2,340 meals so far this year to single parent families battling cancer. We believe that healing comes in many forms.
The Singletons is kicking off an exciting new season and we’re looking for new community partners to work with us along the way. If you are a restaurant interested hosting a Singletons Sunday Night Dinner or if you’d like to be a sponsor for an event like this in the future, please contact the Singleton’s office at 480.818.5285 or email Jody@thesingletonsaz.org.
Thanks again to our community partners for making these memories possible. Our tips today came from New York Times Best Seller The Hour That Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal from the Dream Dinners founders, Les & Leslike Parrott, Stephanie Allen & Tina Kuna.
Sunday Night Dinner Photos