SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 3
December 2020 - Despite the more challenging
times of the COVID-19 season, the Eat
With Your Family Day (EWYFD) initiative has drawn the participation of over
600 organisations such as City
Developments Ltd, Etiqa Insurance Pte Ltd and Eu Yan Sang
International Ltd who encouraged their employees to end work earlier and
gather with their families for meals this year.
During this time,
most organisations were still in a work-from-home mode and employees often
grappled with the blurred boundaries of work and life, at times working beyond
normal working hours although they were at home. To encourage employees to be
present for their families, and bond over meals and activities, the organisers
of EWYFD tied-up special deals with over 50 merchant partners for the EWYFDs in
September and November to offer food, retail and fun options for family
During EWYFD on
4 September 2020, the organisers of EWYFD worked with
over 40 organisations to
plan a special programme for their employees. The 150 families nominated by
their organisations received a family meal delivered to their homes and
participated in a photo contest and movie trivia to win prizes and goodie bags. For both events in September and November, special movie
screenings of "Happy Feet 2" and "Despicable Me 2" were also broadcasted on
Mediacorp Channel 5 so families could bond over movie time. In addition, the Centre
for Fathering offered complimentary online fathering and parenting workshops to
further strengthen family bonding.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Speaker of Parliament and
Patron for Centre for Fathering and DADs for Life said, "Family-friendly
initiatives such as Eat With Your Family Day may seem only beneficial to
employees but this practice can benefit the company in the long run. Organisations
who put their employees first by helping them prioritise their families tend to
have employees who are more productive and committed. As such, I would like to
encourage companies to embrace EWYFD as part of their efforts to nurture a
family-friendly work culture."
To build on the momentum and positive feedback,
EWYFD will go on to place special emphasis on encouraging families to eat
together with grandparents in 2021. As the saying goes, "It takes a village to
raise a child." With the stress imposed by today's fast-paced society, many
parents feel the strain of managing multiple roles at work and home. The role
of grandparents in providing support for parents,
acting as a role model and being a link to family history and traditions, is
critical to the family's well-being. This support by grandparents is even more
pertinent amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 season.
"Our grandparents' greatest joys are the times
when the family gathers for meals. Unfortunately, the demands of our fast-paced
society have made it difficult for many families to regularly spend time
together as an extended family. With families connecting digitally, the less
tech savvy grandparents are excluded from this social interaction, which may
cause them to feel isolated," said Mr Bryan Tan, CEO, Centre for Fathering and
DADs for Life.
He added, "Spending time with grandparents over
a meal on occasions such as EWYFD shows that they are important in our lives
and emphasises the values of respect and esteeming our elders to our children.
We want to recognise the selfless love of grandparents - from caring for the
grandchildren when parents are at work, to whipping up our favourite dishes."
Underpinned by multiple research studies that
show how connecting as a family over a meal can improve the physical and mental
health of family members, EWYFD was launched in 2003 by the Centre for
Fathering to encourage organisations to arrange for employees to leave work at
5pm so that they can eat with their families. Held on the last Friday of each school term,
EWYFD will take place on 12 March, 28 May, 3 September and 19 November in 2021.
EWYFD is brought to you by MUMS for Life, DADs for Life and Centre for
Fathering, in support of Made for Families.
For more information, go to fathers.com.sg/ewyfd.