News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE:
 September 22, 2006
CONTACT: Tracy Pawelski
tracy.pawelski@aholdusa.com

   
TOPS MARKETS HELP FAMILIES PREPARE FOR FAMILY DAY TO HELP PREVENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE AMONG KIDS & TEENS
Williamsville, NY - TOPS Markets is joining forces with The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University to celebrate the sixth annual Family Day - A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children on September 25, 2006. Launched by CASA in 2001, Family Day is a growing national effort to prevent substance abuse in kids and teens by encouraging parental engagement and increased parent-child communication through having dinner together frequently. CASA's research has consistently shown that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use illegal drugs. Family Day helps remind busy families of the invaluable role that parental involvement plays in steering children and teens away from cigarettes, drugs and alcohol.

"The simple act of having dinner together is one of the most powerful ways a family can stay connected to each other," said Beth Holmes, director of health and wellness, TOPS Markets. "TOPS strives to offer busy families quick, easy and delicious menu ideas that allow them to spend their valuable time around the table instead of in the kitchen."

America's drug problem is not going to be solved in courtrooms or legislative hearing rooms by judges and politicians, It will be solved in living rooms and dining rooms and across kitchen tables - by parents and families, says Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA's chairman and president and the former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. "'Parent Power' is the most potent and underutilized tool in preventing children from using substances to engage in risky behavior."

According to CASA's "The Importance of Family Dinners II" report, teens who eat dinner with their families six to seven times a week are at almost half the risk of substance abuse as teens who eat dinner with their families twice a week or less. Also, teens who eat dinner with their families often are likelier to do well in school and less likely to have sex at young ages, get into fights or be suspended from school. This pattern holds true regardless of a teen's sex, family structure or family socioeconomic level.

TOPS believes that celebrating Family Day is an important first step in helping to provide a substance free youth for children and teens. Customers are encouraged to visit stores and access the "Recipe Solutions" kiosks located in the meat departments of most stores. In addition, recipes can be found in TOPS' new, free healthy living booklet "Healthy Family Eating: There's No Place Like Home!" Available in all stores, this twelve-page booklet provides tips on how to gather the family to the table more often, as well as easy and healthy eating suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, and delicious family meal recipes.

For more information about Family Day, visit www.CASAFamilyDay.org. And for suggestions on how parents can make meal time a family time more often and for additional information on the "Healthy Family Eating: There's No Place Like Home!" booklet, visit TOPS' website at www.topsmarkets.com.

TOPS Markets, LLC, headquartered in Williamsville, NY is one of four retail-operating companies under Ahold USA and is a division of Giant Food Stores in Carlisle, PA. TOPS currently operates 119 TOPS Markets and 4 Martin's Super Food Stores. With nearly 16,000 associates, TOPS serves a three state market area. For more information about TOPS Markets or Martin's Super Food Stores, visit the companies' websites at www.topsmarkets.com or www.martinssuperfood.com.

TOPS Consumer Advisor's Suggestions on How You Can Make Mealtime A Family Time More Often

-Every Sunday, pick nights during the coming week when the family can eat together.

-Kids love traditions: create simple ones in your home such as "Friday is make-your-own-pizza night" and "Tuesday is Mexican night." Theme decorations make it fun too!

-Encourage children to create menu ideas and have them help with making a shopping list. Ask them to pick some healthy foods they would like to have.

-Encourage children to help with meal preparation. Very young children can rinse fruits and vegetables, pour ingredients, and mix. Older children can measure ingredients, cut soft foods with a table knife and use the microwave.

-Keep meals simple. Spend time on one-dish casseroles or use convenience foods. Foods such as frozen vegetables, prepared foods and ready to cook meats save time.

-Set a good example. Eat a variety of foods from the five food groups.

-Turn off the TV and radio so everyone can focus on conversation. Share what happened during the day with each other.

 

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