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‘Eats Together’ project hopes to reduce risky behaviors in kids

safe communities counties eats together FLYER

By KENDRA PEEK

kendra.peek@amnews.com

A community safety organization is challenging families in Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer to eat together more often — at least 24 times between Sept. 5 and Oct. 1 — all for the sake of preventing risky behaviors in children.

“Having family dinners together has been shown to work as a protective factor against risky behaviors,” said Michelle Ellis, who volunteers as the recorder for the Safe Communities Coalition of Central Kentucky, the organization behind the push.

The “Eats Together” project also helps the children establish a support system within their families.

The goal of the Safe Communities Coalition of Central Kentucky is to reduce injuries, substance abuse and more in the community, which fits perfectly with the eating-together challenge, she said.

“We thought this would be a good program that a lot of families would like to get involved with,” Ellis said. “It’s something fun that’s easy to do and easy for people to get involved with.”

Families can sign up online at bit.ly/eatstogether or by emailing Ellis at mrellis@bluegrass.org.

After joining, they will be added to an email list, through which they will receive a weekly update with recipes and ideas. Ellis will also include information on community partners and on local restaurants featuring “family dinner night.”

Updates will also be posted on the coalition’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/scccky.

“Currently, we have 20 pledges online. That’s 20 separate families,” Ellis said. “It’s exciting.”

The program officially launched Monday, but Ellis said there’s still time to sign up, and there’s never a bad time to commit to eating as a family.

Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.

SO YOU KNOW

To join the Eats Together project, families can sign up online at bit.ly/eatstogether, or send an email to mrellis@bluegrass.org