PDFNJ Announces January 2024 Launch of "Eat. Hug. Love." Campaign


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2023
Contacts: Lisa Batitto, news@drugfreenj.org

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Announces January 2024 Launch of "Eat. Hug. Love." Campaign

MILLBURN, NJ — In its continued mission to nurture healthier family dynamics and mental wellness among youth, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) has announced the launch of its bilingual 2024 Public Service Campaign, “Eat. Hug. Love.” which aims to foster family bonding and improve youth mental health.

Studies indicate that engaging in shared family activities, such as meals, not only bolsters mental health but also significantly reduces the likelihood of substance experimentation among youth.

“At a time when young people face numerous challenges and pressures, ‘Eat. Hug. Love.’ offers actionable and easy-to-implement ways for parents to make a positive impact,” said Angelo Valente, Executive Director of PDFNJ. “By making the campaign available in both English and Spanish, we aim to ensure our message of connection and prevention is accessible to all families in New Jersey.”

The campaign will feature four Public Service Announcements, each designed to guide parents in creating a nurturing environment for their children. The first announcement, set to debut in January, promotes family movie nights as a means to strengthen bonds and enhance mental well-being. This will be succeeded by a series of further announcements: one highlighting the importance of parents expressing their love to their children daily; another promoting phone-free family meals to foster better communication; and finally, one encouraging the simple yet powerful act of giving daily hugs.

The messaging aligns with Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy’s recent Advisory on Social Media and Youth Mental Health, which reports teens who use social media extensively are susceptible to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. The campaign underscores the importance of face-to-face interactions and solid family connections as key in offsetting the negative effects of digital overexposure.

To ensure a wide-reaching impact, the public service announcements will be featured on New Jersey Transit buses, trains, PATH trains, bus shelters, light rail lines, posters, web banners, and billboards throughout the state. For more information about the upcoming campaign, visit  www.drugfreenj.org


Best known for its statewide substance use prevention advertising campaign, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is a private not-for-profit coalition of professionals from the communications, corporate and government communities whose collective mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in New Jersey through media communication. To date, more than $200 million in broadcast time and print space has been donated to the Partnership’s New Jersey campaign, making it the largest public service advertising campaign in New Jersey’s history. Since its inception, the Partnership has garnered 226 advertising and public relations awards from national, regional and statewide media organizations.