Growing up, the three of us did not know each other. But we all had something in common: you had to be home in time for family dinner. After-school sports and activities were highly encouraged, but at the end of the day you were to be around the dinner table in time to "eat hot food hot," according to my mother (Anna here). It was rarely an issue making it home in time because there was always a home-cooked, Midwest meal waiting in the kitchen (think spaghetti, butternut squash soup, persimmon pudding and even freshly made still-warm-from-the-oven pie).

It was during this time that our families bonded and talked about our days. We went through the highlights and lowlights, and if you exercised poor manners at the table - you were stuck with dish duty. Now that our siblings and us are grown and moved out of the house, we still cherish the times when we are all together again around the dinner table. 

Because we grew up around the dinner table every night, it instilled in us the mindset that eating dinner is something that you do on a daily basis with the people you love. Having homes of our own, we love the opportunity to bring good people together around good food.

The Billion Family Dinners Challenge initiative aims to motivate people to reach the common goal of one billion shared meals. Busy schedules are hard to work around, but spending time together around a meal can help create healthier and happier relationships. By tracking your meals, you can share your experiences with those within your social network and inspire others to accept the challenge. We are all guilty of using dinner time to catch up on our favorite shows and blogs, but we'd like to challenge you to unplug and track 10 meals in 2 weeks

Here's hot to get involved:

1. Download the Dinner Call app via the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.

2. Begin tracking your family dinners on the app. We like to think of a "family" as the people you love and spend time with. This could be dinner out with your two best friends, an afternoon coffee and muffin with your significant other, a quick lunch break with your coworker or a big morning brunch with all of your favorite people. 

3. Share your meals from the app to Instagram / Twitter / Facebook and tag @dinnercall and use #billiondinners. And, don't forget to tag @readdriftless so we can follow along! We will also be utilizing the hashtag #driftlessdinnercall if you'd like to join us in using that. 

4. Make it a goal to track 10 "dinners" in 2 weeks by November 15th. The Driftless team has accepted this challenge and we hope you will too! In two weeks, we'll be posting a recap of our challenge with photos and thoughts from the experience.

Also, there are prizes involved!

From Driftless: a $50 gift card to your favorite restaurant will go to the person who tracks the most meals. Don't forget to tag @readdriftless @dinnercall #billiondinners and #10in2 in your posts! 

From the Billion Dinners Challenge: a $100 gift card to your favorite grocery store. Make sure you officially register for the challenge

From the Billion Dinners Challenge: free groceries for a year if you track 10 dinners in 2 weeks by November 15th.

This post was sponsored by Dinner Call and the Billions Dinners Challenge campaign, but all words and experiences are our own.