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Making Food Access Possible for Families with Allergies and Celiac Disease

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Kids Eat in Color has donated to the Food Equality initiative, an organization nominated by Leigh, a member of our Kids Eat in Color Community.

In the U.S. there are around 32 million people with food allergies. Of those 3 million are experiencing food insecurity at any given time,” shares Food Equality Initiative as it shares the reality the family Rodriguez and many like them experience when managing allergies and feeding their family on a budget. Leigh has been a dietitian for 11 year and worked with patients with food allergies, intolerances and celiac disease. It is from this experience, that she witness first hand the struggle families faced with finding “free-from” foods on a budget. Learn more about Food Equality Initiative from Leigh.  

What drew you to this organization?

I know how expensive “free-from” foods can be for families. At the Food Equality Initiative (EFI) they are working on addressing that issue by making free-from foods more accessible to all. Given the families I was helping, I knew the importance of their mission and wanted to get involved.

Emily, Founder of Food Equality Initiative 

What is “free-from” food? 

Free-from foods are foods that are free from common food allergens and gluten (e.g. wheat, milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, etc.). Free-from foods offer safe options for people with food allergens.

What do you wish more parents from our community would know about this work? 

Food Equality Initiative was created because our founder (Emily Brown) was trying to feed her children with multiple food allergies. Her family qualified for WIC, and when she went to get food she realized that the only substitutes for the typical bread, milk, eggs (3 of the top food allergens), she was left with 2 potatoes and a can of beans. I want more people to know that, although WIC is vital to the health and well-being of many families, there is still room to help families with members who have food allergies. Food Equality Initiative steps in to help fill that gap.

In 2021, FEI served 176 children, filling 1004 orders with a total of 29,324 items distributed to the children.

Learn more about FEI and their assistance program at https://foodequalityinitiative.org/programs/

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