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NVRH Partners with Local Organizations to Offer Free Meal, Family-Friendly Activities

by | Mar 14, 2023 | In the News

ST. JOHNSBURY, VT (March 13, 2023) – To celebrate the simple things parents can do to connect with their kids every day, the Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA), Kingdom Recovery Center (KRC), the Northeast Prevention Coalition (NPC) and Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) are joining forces with Family Day to put on a free family-friendly meal on Wed., March 22, 2023.

The event, which will take place at NEKCA (115 Lincoln St., St. Johnsbury), includes a taco dinner with vegetarian and gluten-free options and family-friendly activities. Families can take a family photo, receive Reiki, and leave the event with conversation cards for future family meals. Information and resources will also be available on ways to talk with your kids early and often about risky behaviors, such as alcohol and other substance use.

“This event is suitable for families with children of all ages,” NVRH Substance Misuse Prevention Coordinator Carolyn Towne said. “Having frequent family meals fosters connection and increased communication, and that is a protective factor that can have a positive impact on all kids, no matter how old or young they are.”

To accommodate the number of families, there will be two seating times scheduled for 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Families can choose the time that is most convenient for them when registering for the event. Interested families are encouraged to reserve their spot right away.

Founded in 2001 by Center on Addiction, Family Day works with organizations across the country to educate parents about how everyday activities create strong, healthy relationships that can prevent future substance use.

“Laying a strong foundation that promotes open communication when your child is very young, like 10 or 12, makes talking easier once your child is a teenager,” Executive Chair of Center on Addiction Joe Plumeri said. “You can build this foundation by engaging in small, simple activities with your kids – like sharing a meal, playing a game, or just asking about your child’s day.”

Adolescence is the critical period for the initiation of risky drug use and its consequences. For example,

  • Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence.
  • Nine out of 10 Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction started smoking, drinking or using other drugs before age 18.
  • Preventing or delaying teens from using addictive substances for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety. Every year that initiation of drug use is delayed, the risk of addiction goes down.

NEKCA, KRC, NPC, and NVRH are committed to strengthening families and believe that celebrating Family Day is an important first step in helping to keep America’s children and teens drug-free. For additional information about Family Day, visit To RSVP today, contact Gwendolyn Lantagne by email, or call 802-323-3169.