Throughout the pandemic, EPIC has been hosting "Kitchen Table Talks" - a series of community conversations, inspired by the place families gather: the kitchen table. It's taken on many forms- maybe it's a home office, a virtual learning station, or consistent place for meals- but it remains a place for families to gather.

That's why we are releasing our Family Dinner Kits: packed full of everything you need to help your family gather back around the kitchen table. The kits are available on our website and we've posted a video of everything that's inside. Each kit include the following:

  • recipes from Wegmans
  • place card templates
  • invitation templates
  • multiple books (available in English and Spanish)
  • a "MyPlate" bookmark (available in English and Spanish)
  • a one-pager on helping grow your children's literacy skills
  • Food Fun activity pads
  • crayons and paper
  • craft supplies for a seasonal centerpiece
  • a deck of cards and list of age-appropriate games to play
  • a second deck of Go Fish, Old Maid or Hearts
  • pages of conversation starters (available in English and Spanish)
  • Thanksgiving Mad Libs
  • ways to include extended family
  • noisemakers for your own Thanksgiving Day parade
  • ways to make grocery shopping fun for kids
  • 10 money-saving grocery tips
  • all packed in a nylon EPIC drawstring backpack!

Keep your kit, or pay it forward to another family- but no matter what, we invite you to join us on Thursday, November 5 in our Family Dinner Night promise: a no-screens night around the kitchen table, with food, family and whatever else makes it special for YOU.

In other news:

  • 40 Days of Heroes is here, but it's not too late to nominate yours! Who is your hero? We want to know! We are collecting nominations for Heroes for one final week, and winners will be honored throughout our annual Heroes celebration this fall. One Hero will also win our Ultimate Prize Pack, which includes prizes from Wegmans, Lowes, local restaurants, wellness centers and more. Click here to submit your nomination!

  • We are just TWO WEEKS AWAY from the Buffalo Baby & Toddler Expo: a 4-day virtual event! This year, the expo will be held over the course of four days, entirely via Zoom. We've targeted each day into specific topics, so you can customize your Expo experience and tune in to the parts that matter most to you! Topics like car seat safety, early literacy, breastfeeding support, prenatal yoga, telemedicine, massage therapy, child care information and nutrition demonstrations will still be available. Register here- it's free!

Stay safe, stay well, and as always, know we are here for you.

Tara N. Burgess, Executive Director
and the entire EPIC team