Annual Awareness Campaign from Food Allergy Research & Education Emphasizes Severity of Food Allergies: As Serious as a Heart Attack

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FARE encourages understanding of food allergy during 20th Annual Food Allergy Awareness Week, releasing first video in new "Food for Thought" series.

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With every person we educate about the severity of food allergy, we create a safer world for the food allergy community.

Food allergies are far too often minimized and misunderstood – that’s why Food Allergy Research & Education is marking the 20th Annual Food Allergy Awareness Week (May 14-20) by releasing a number of new materials designed to educate the public about just how serious and life-altering food allergies are. FARE’s new “Food for Thought” video series kicked off Monday with an exploration of the persistent misrepresentation of food allergy in the media.

Food allergies affect one in 13 children in the U.S., and send someone to the emergency room every three minutes. Despite the fact that food allergies are potentially life-threatening, this disease is often mocked and belittled. As Dr. Hemant Sharma of Children’s National Health System states in the video, many people do not understand that food allergies can be just as severe as a heart attack or stroke. FARE’s new Food for Thought videos aim to counter misinformation and start a conversation about the serious nature of food allergy. Other videos in the series tackle food allergy myths, provide the perspective of a food allergy mom, share insights about cutting-edge food allergy research and give viewers a snapshot of the close-knit and caring food allergy community.

The video series, a soon-to-be-released “Even a Trace Can Be Deadly” campaign and the participation of FARE National Ambassador and actor August “Auggie” Maturo are all part of this year’s observation of Food Allergy Awareness Week, the theme of which is “20 Years of Action, Education and Support.” Additionally, the Empire State Building was lit in teal, the color of food allergy awareness, on Sunday, May 14, the first night of Food Allergy Awareness Week.

“It’s unacceptable that individuals are still being excluded, bullied and mocked because of their food allergies. With every person we educate about the severity of food allergy, we create a safer world for the food allergy community,” said James R. Baker, Jr. M.D., CEO of FARE. “Food Allergy Awareness Week provides an opportunity to raise the profile of food allergy as a serious public health issue, but our goals go beyond this week – part of FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals with food allergies, and one way we can do that together is to be respectful and empathetic to those affected by food allergies.”

Throughout the month, Auggie Maturo, formerly of “Girl Meets World,” has shared his own videos urging members of the community to participate in Food Allergy Awareness Week. FARE has multiple initiatives planned for Food Allergy Awareness Week in which supporters can take part. Across the country, families, individuals, schools and corporations will be participating in the awareness campaign throughout the month of May in a variety of ways, including wearing teal on May 17 for a #TealTakeover. In addition to the “Food for Thought” series and “Even a Trace Can Be Deadly” campaign, other campaign highlights include:

  • FARE’s Food Allergy Milestones Timeline, created in honor of the 20th anniversary, shows two decades of progress for the food allergy community. Website visitors can also take FARE’s timeline quiz.
  • Advocacy Days, a series of meetings organized by FARE at state capitols in Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri and Texas designed to educate lawmakers about the importance of supporting legislation to improve the lives of those with food allergies, including ensuring access to epinephrine.
  • FARE’s calendar, which provides one action individuals can take each day in May to support the food allergy community.
  • Posters titled “Every Three Minutes” that can be printed and posted in schools and community centers. A premium version of the poster, as well as teal ribbon lapel pins, shoelaces and more can be purchased from FARE’s online store.

FARE’s comprehensive online headquarters -- http://www.foodallergyweek.org – includes a number of resources to help make awareness efforts a success in local communities. The public also can show its support of Food Allergy Awareness Week by making a donation at foodallergy.org/donate to back continued efforts to educate others and raise awareness about food allergies.

ABOUT FARE
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. Our work is organized around three core tenets: LIFE – support the ability of individuals with food allergies to live safe, productive lives with the respect of others through our education and advocacy initiatives; HEALTH – enhance the healthcare access of individuals with food allergies to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment; and HOPE – encourage and fund research in both industry and academia that promises new therapies to improve the allergic condition. For more information, please visit http://www.foodallergy.org.

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Nancy Gregory
@FoodAllergy
since: 04/2009
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