Food Equality Initiative (FEI), based in Kansas City, Kansas, provides hunger relief for those with celiac disease and/or food allergies through its pantry of safe foods for families in need. As its website states, “Food Equality Initiative, Inc. (FEI) is a recognized non-profit, public benefit corporation established in 2014 by Emily Brown and Amy Goode, to support the low-income food allergy and Celiac communities by providing safe, healthy gluten free and allergy friendly food, nutrition education and advocacy.”
For those of us managing either food allergy or celiac disease, we know how expensive it is to purchase safe foods. Yet, imagine if you couldn’t afford to purchase safe foods for your child! And to make matters worse, when you went to a food bank, there were no safe foods for you to obtain. Or imagine if you applied for WIC (Women Infants & Children) only to find out that there are no substitutions for peanut butter, milk or whole wheat bread. This is why FEI was created.
FEI is advocating for WIC substitutions in addition to the following, as quoted from their website:
- Establish best practices for the charitable food system to identify, sort, store, and distribute special diet foods
- Establish nutrition policies that reflects the needs of food insecure individuals with special diets in school and community settings.
- Push for legislation that provides Insurance coverage of gluten free and allergy friendly foods for a medically necessary diet.
The amazing part of FEI is that not only do they have a pantry in Kansas City for families with food allergies & celiac disease to shop in. They could also box and ship safe foods to families requesting such from around the USA if they had more funding. This all costs A LOT of money!
This is where FEI could really use the assistance of the food allergy community. There are many areas of the USA where families are in need of having a pantry of safe foods set up, similar to what FEI has created in Kansas City. If you have the desire to create this in your community, please contact FEI through their website here.
Donations of money are always appreciated. You can donate directly to FEI on their website here.
If you’re reading this blog post and need assistance in affording safe food, please click here for more information about qualifications.
I applaud Emily Brown and Amy Goode on creating this wonderful organization, and I encourage each of you to support families in our community that can’t afford to provide safe foods for their children by donating your time or money to FEI.
For more information about FEI, you can read this article or this article by Allergic Living.