Over 300 pizzas, bags of food, and other gifts were prepared and distributed to Tooele County families as part of Save Family Dinner Tooele locations in Tooele County on Sept. 21.
“By the end of the night, an estimated 265 families —1,237 individuals — were given both a pizza for the night and a dinner to make at home, representing 2,474 meals served to members of the community,” said Peter Clegg, Tooele County Health Department prevention coordinator.
Many people have fond memories of coming together to enjoy a meal, be it for Thanksgiving, a summer barbecue, or just a typical Taco Tuesday night, but in the prevention arena it is a data-driven fact that family dinners is a powerful protective factor associated with reduced underage drinking and other undesirable behaviors, according to Clegg.
For eight years, the Tooele Interagency Prevention Professionals — a coalition of representatives from Tooele City Communities that Care, Tooele City Parks and Recreation, Tooele Technical College, and other agencies and groups — has joined forces to encourage families to eat dinner together as a means of aiding in that cause.
In years past families from all over the county would gather to enjoy a meal prepared by TIPP. This year has understandably required some adaptation to current circumstances.
Where families once stood in line at a park to receive their dinner, this year they lined up in their cars for a drive-thru sort of style dinner and received not one meal, but two — one to be enjoyed in the car and the other to be prepared at home.
TIPP acknowledges and wishes to express the utmost gratitude for the generosity and contributions of their partners and others who have helped donate to this event whether in the form of prizes, food, or entertainment. Those partners and contributors include the Tooele County Health Department, Tooele County School District, Tooele Lucky’s Grocery Store, and Tooele Little Caesar’s.