Allergy Friendly Food Pantry

Allergy-friendly food advocate Emily Brown to speak at youth summit

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Emily Brown, CEO and co-founder of the Food Equality Initiative, Inc. will speak at our Champions for Health Youth Summit on March 2. The Food Equality Initiative is a Kansas nonprofit founded in 2014 to help low income families with allergies and Celiac get access to allergy-friendly food. emily-brown

After her daughter’s anaphylactic reaction to peanut butter Brown turned her own family’s struggles with food allergies into a movement to provide access to safe and healthy food, particularly, for the low-income families with allergies. These are the families who have to choose between going hungry and eating safely.

Food Equality Initiative bridges that gap, where financially challenged families living with allergies and celiac disease cannot not find food at the local food pantries. It seeks to help an estimated (estimate by the Initiative based on U.S. Census and research by Dr. Robert A. Wood of John Hopkins University) 10,000 individuals in Kansas City metro, mostly children, who suffer from harmful effects of not being able to afford allergy-friendly foods.

Brown worked with Amy Goode to establish the nation’s first allergy-friendly food pantry ReNewed Health in Overland park, Kansas. In its first year, the pantry distributed more than 12,000 pounds of gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods to families in need. The organization opened its second pantry in Missouri in July, 2016. The nonprofit also is working with Harvesters, Kansas City’s local food bank, and Feeding America to find ways to help their clients.

“Emily shares her family’s compelling journey passionately,” says Kimiko Black Gilmore, assistant city manager for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. “Her ability to connect with diverse groups and express the importance of food equity and how to achieve it has made a profound impact.”

Brown is connected to KC Healthy Kids through Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition.

The Champions for Health Youth Summit is set for March 2, at the Kansas City Convention Center in KCMO. There, more than 200 kids will gather to where they’ll learn to speak out for healthier food in schools, walkable communities, urban farms and gardens and more! Sponsorships are still available. Get Details

The public is invited to join the fun at 11:30 for lunch and the I Am Here Awards. We’ll cheer on the grade level winners of our photo contest and present them with checks for $1,000. Six classrooms will take the stage to tell us about their own communities and the changes they want to make there. One group will take home an additional $1,500 grand prize.

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