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Securing Safe Food
Allergy Awareness Initiative
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To increase the food allergic community’s accessibility to safe food through restaurant education, ingredient lists, and collaboration with food pantries.
We aspire to support, advocate, and spread awareness to secure safe food for the 32 million Americans who live with food allergies.
WHO WE ARE:
We are a group of teens in the FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) TAG group who are dedicated to improving the lives of those in the food allergic community. By collaborating with eateries, cafeterias, and local food pantries, we aim to reduce the challenge of finding safe food outside of the home. We hail from Connecticut to California.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER:
My name is Rachel Brooks, and I am a seventeen-year-old student from Trumbull, Connecticut, who's gluten-free and allergic to milk, egg, peanut, and tree nuts. I've experienced the struggle of finding safe food outside the home firsthand (i.e. lack of allergy protocol in restaurants), and I created this organization with the vision of developing a sustainable solution to increase awareness through interaction and education.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I learned food allergic consumers were increasingly struggling to access safe food. Food pantries and food banks, I reasoned, needed allergy-friendly items more than ever, as the majority are unable to accommodate food allergic and gluten-free clients to begin with (due to cost, accessibility, or lack of a system to keep such items reserved for those who need them most). Our goal is to cultivate positive change for the food allergic community in the midst of these critical times, and we plan to ensure that the needs of those with food allergies are met by making regular deliveries to our local pantries or working with manufacturers to arrange direct shipment.
WHAT WE WILL DO:
-Provide allergy-friendly options for those in need by collaborating with local food pantries across the nation
-Establish dedicated areas of food pantries that offer allergen-free and/or gluten-free options
-Secure donations from allergy-friendly brands
IN WINTER/SPRING 2021
-Educate and interact with restaurants
-Suggest procedures for avoiding cross-contamination
-Raise funds to help willing restaurants create allergy-safe systems (i.e. color codes plates and utensils for serving the food allergic community, accessible ingredient binders with labeled allergens, redesigned menus with major allergens listed, etc.)
-Strive to introduce accessible ingredient lists for items served in cafeterias
-Distribute posters to cafeterias on keeping salad and hot bars allergy safe.
HOW WE WILL DO IT:
We need YOUR help to raise funds to get our organization off the ground. If 100 people donate $10, we will reach our goal of $1000 to legally incorporate our nonprofit and acquire 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.
From there, we urgently need your support to supply food pantries and food banks across the nation with allergy-safe donations. With shelves bare and shortages rampant, acquiring funds to purchase wholesale allergy-friendly and gluten-free food items from US manufacturers is a crucial next step we need to take NOW.
Together we must work to provide safe food for the food allergic community and continue to raise awareness, even in the midst of this pandemic.
Let us strive to improve the lives of those with food allergies!
- Claudia Montenegro
- Howard & Barbara Cohen
- Stacie Skinner
- Kimberly Kleinman
- Pamela Sohn