Introducing Verified Advocacy Groups!

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To celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Month, Spokin has added food allergy foundations and advocacy groups to the app! These groups raise awareness, educate, and protect the food allergy community and are leading the way to improve our lives. Each of these organizations now has a home on the Spokin App where you can learn about their mission, get involved, and support their work. We’re so appreciative of what they do and thrilled to welcome them to the Spokin Family!

 

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The Elijah-Alavi Foundation

Mission: The Elijah-Alavi Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, aims to encourage nationwide diverse, social and equitable food allergy and asthma resources for schools in every neighborhood regardless of socioeconomic conditions, culture, or class. The foundation is named in honor of Elijah Silvera, a 3-year-old with a known dairy allergy, passed away after being fed grilled cheese at a daycare. The foundation provides training for school professionals and those in a childcare setting. They are committed to protecting children through advocacy, aided by a historical piece of legislation in New York State called Elijah’s Law, which implements proper education, protocols, guidelines, and emergency action plans for childcare/daycare settings, public schools, and beyond. The foundation raises awareness about food allergies and asthma as #elijahsecho

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Ways to support: Elijah’s Echo Ambassador Program

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Red Sneakers for Oakley

Mission: Red Sneakers for Oakley was established by Robert and Merrill Debbs after the death of their 11-year-old son Oakley due to a fatal allergic reaction to nuts. Oakley loved his red sneakers and the family decided to use them as a powerful symbol for increased education and awareness among communities of people with food allergies, but also people who don’t have them. Oakley suffered from both asthma and an allergy to nuts, and the Debbs believe they were ill prepared to recognize the signs of anaphylaxis. Since its establishment, Red Sneakers for Oakley has gained national exposure through supporters wearing red sneakers and has launched a multi-pronged approach to enable its mission and mobilize people to take action.

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Upcoming Events: The Annual Un-Gala is held on the 3rd Thursday in November. To learn about sponsorship, ways to participate, or how to host an Un-Gala in your community, please send inquiries to [email protected].

Ways to support: Celebrate International Red Sneakers Day on May 20! Wear your #RedSneakersForOakley to show your support for those with food allergies! Wear red sneakers and post on social media with the hashtags #livlikeoaks #redsneakersforoakley #foodallergyawareness. Plan your own Red Sneaker Day here.

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Allison Rose Foundation

Mission: The Allison Rose Foundation (ARF) is dedicated to changing the lives of food allergy families through education, awareness, research and advocacy to decrease and eliminate untimely deaths of children and young adults due to food allergies. As food allergy children evolve through their stages of life, their supporting communities change, making food allergy education crucial to understand, recognize and effectively manage a severe food allergy and life-threatening reaction. Dedicated to changing the lives of food allergy families through education, awareness, research and advocacy, the Allison Rose Foundation strives to arm families with a comprehensive food allergy support system, and ultimately, a cure. The foundation helped pass the Allison Rose Suhy Act, which incentivizes Ohio schools to train staff and students on food allergies by qualifying teachers to receive continuing education. It will also require the Ohio Department of Education to create a list of organizations that offer free stock epinephrine for schools.

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Upcoming Events: The Allison Rose Foundation Par-Tee on Friday, May 28, 2021 at Fowler’s Mill Golf Course in Chesterland, OH and the Annual Allison Rose Foundation Yellow Brick Road Celebration, Saturday, January 29, 2022

Ways to support: To volunteer or advocate, visit https://www.allisonrosefoundation.org/contact/

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The F.A.T.E. Initiative (Food Allergy Training & Education)

Mission: F.A.T.E. was founded as a non-profit organization to provide free training and education to individuals, using the story of Joanna Frances Salmingo-Fontaine, who passed away from inadvertently eating a cashew-containing mochi ice cream as the awakening. F.A.T.E. provides education on the severity of food allergies, awareness through cognizance and compassion, and life-saving practices using available resources. F.A.T.E. has led forums to thousands of students, educators, caregivers and restaurant workers across Canada and the United States; including foster care organizations, camp counselors, community organizations, flight attendants and even individual families. In addition to these general educational forums, a specialty of F.A.T.E. is in the restaurant, hospitality and food-service profession. As a former chef and restaurateur of nearly two decades, F.A.T.E. ‘s founder Joey Salmingo offers custom-tailored forums for quality, volume and quick service kitchens of all capacities and sizes.

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Ways to support: Book a FATE Forum

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Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Foundation

Mission: The Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Foundation was created in memory of Natalie Marie Giorgi, who tragically passed away at the age of 13 from an allergic reaction to peanuts. Natalie’s parents created The Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Foundation in order to help reduce food allergy deaths by spreading public awareness, provide education regarding emergency responses and increase the availability of epinephrine injectors in public places. The foundation helped pass a California law requiring all food handlers to have certification in handling major food allergens and preventing cross-contamination. It also adds organized camps to the category of food handlers required to train employees on properly handling food and allergens.

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The Love for Giovanni Foundation 

Mission: The Love for Giovanni Foundation was created in memory of Giovanni Cipriano, who passed away in 2013 due to an accidental exposure to peanuts. The foundation’s mission is to provide support to all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis. They aim to help educate families, caregivers, educators, nurses/physicians and communities regarding the seriousness of food allergies, as well as the importance of always having epinephrine injectors, working diligently to increase their availability in public places. Their goal is to create a global awareness of life threatening food allergies in hopes of preventing another death due to anaphylaxis. The foundation helped pass Gio’s Law, which requires first responders in New York to learn how to use epinephrine auto-injectors and to carry them in their vehicles. The law also stipulates biennial retraining and reporting auto-injector usage.

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Ways to support: FRIENDS HELPING FRIENDS Food Allergy Support Group

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Food Equality Initiative

Mission: The Food Equality Initiative’s mission is to improve health and end hunger in individuals diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease through access to safe and healthy food, nutrition education, and advocacy. Founded in 2014 by Emily Brown, Food Equality Initiative (FEI) is the nation’s leading organization working to increase access to allergy friendly and gluten free foods to individuals who need them the most. FEI collaborates with healthcare providers, local and national nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools and food manufacturers to help clients. In 2015 FEI launched the nation’s first allergy-friendly and gluten-free food pantry, ReNewed Health with New Haven SDA Church. Since then, the organization has been at the forefront of a movement calling attention to the challenges of living with food allergies and celiac disease. Presenting at national conferences and advocating for the inclusion of more allergy-friendly and gluten-free foods in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children’s (WIC) Food Package have all been central in an effort to increase access in all communities.

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Ways to support: Spreading the word about the work of FEI and visiting The Food Equality Shop.

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