A cheesy (excuse the early pun) saying that I have said, for as long as I can remember. I have said this line enough that if I was to ask a friend or colleague why I place so much importance on meals (mine or theirs) they would likely respond with these three words back.

Food can and has represented many different things over the centuries from survival, to power and status, to identify and community. To me, it’s always meant love. It’s how I show people that I care about them and care about what nourishes and sustains them. I place as much importance of eating during the work day with my colleagues as I do at home with my family.

It got me thinking about the importance of work lunches and the visible difference it had on team morale, communication, connection and culture. At Hello Monday we try to do a shared lunch together every month and it’s a lovely time in the office. We tend not to talk about work during these lunches. It’s a time to relax, share personal stories so we get to know each other on a deeper level and have some laughs. The food brings us together and it’s a common experience we share and talk about (unlike MAFS which only a polarising 50% of our team currently watch)

On other days, I will often check in to see what people have planned for their lunch. This is for two reasons. One is to make sure people are giving themselves time away from their desks to refuel and reset. The other is that food is love. Friendships are formed while eating, problems are often solved over lunch, and any time you share a meal with other people, the whole experience requires a bit of team work. It really brings a lot more to the party than just consuming food.

In all the places I have worked, I have been lucky enough to work with people who (often without even realising it) follow the principals of the “food is love” religion. Whether it was the chocolate treats in the afternoon or sitting in the park to eat lunch together or simply asking if they want a tea or coffee…they are all practising the principal of “if you care, you nourish” (I just made that up but you know what I mean)

And now I am off to prepare for our team lunch…and show everyone at Hello Monday how much I love them.

– Tara