I wasn't there, so I can't be sure, but I'm guessing humans have been gathering to eat together since the very beginning of human-kind. At our house, we host a weekly Monday night community pot luck, Cornbread Suppers, because it's fun. No agenda. Nothing to do but eat, drink and enjoy each other. You are always invited.
In the 2017 edition of its always interesting annual dining trends predictions, the Sterling-Rice Group included new ways people are finding others so they can share meals.
At the other end of the potluck-and-conversation spectrum, wonderful Kentucky voice for Appalachia and food/farm/foodways goodness Lora Smith recently co-wrote this beautiful NPR story about a potluck in Egypt, Kentucky with Nigerian-born Tunde Wey. Of many available stories about Tunde Wey, this one is particularly rich: Discomfort food: Using dinners to talk about race, violence and America.
Invite some people over for comfort or discomfort in the food and conversation. It's good for all the souls.
Note: this is a corrected post. An earlier version omitted Tunde Wey as co-author of the NPR story. I am sorry (and embarrassed).