Food allergies and celiac disease affect people at all income levels. The effects can be severe, even life-threatening, but a proper diet can make living with these problems much easier.
Kansas City, Missouri-based Food Equality Initiative (FEI) — founded by Emily Brown in 2014 was the first program of its kind in the nation providing “free-from” foods. “Free-from refers to foods that do not contain ingredients, such as peanuts and the gluten from wheat, rye and barley that can trigger uncomfortable and dangerous reactions. Just as important, FEI offers nutrition education and advocacy for low-income families who have trouble finding and affording the right foods.
The Food Equality Initiative offers nutrition education and support for low-income families who have trouble finding and affording the right foods.
“We’re much more than a food pantry,” said FEI CEO Emily Brown. “We educate physicians and healthcare leaders on the importance of food insecurity screening and work to bridge the nutrition gap in the management of both food allergies and celiac disease.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four to six percent of children and four percent of adults in this country live with food allergies. Around 2.5 million Americans have it but remain undiagnosed and at risk for long-term health consequences.
To qualify for assistance from FEI, applicants have to meet just two requirements:
- A completed Rx Diet Order Form from a physician.
- An income no more than 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
This local Kansas City founded program is spreading to communities around the country.