Highlights from the 2018 Food Allergy Awareness Week

Throughout the month of May, thousands of people around the country shined a light on food allergies in various ways – from  participating in FARE’s daily Food Allergy Awareness Action Steps, to asking their legislators to issue proclamations declaring May 13-19, 2018 Food Allergy Awareness Week, to leading awareness events in their schools and communities and much more. Here are just a few highlights from this year’s Food Allergy Awareness Week.


1. Legislators in 43 states declared May 13-19, 2018 Food Allergy Awareness Week.

This year, FARE saw the food allergy community come out in full force to ask their representatives to declare May 13-19, 2018 Food Allergy Awareness Week. Volunteers in all 50 states contacted their legislators and 43 states issued proclamations – the most in recent years! Congrats and huge thanks to all who reached out to make this happen!


Governor Kim Reynolds presented a proclamation declaring May 13-19, 2018 Food Allergy Awareness Week in Iowa.






Senator Jim Tedisco presented a resolution to high school sophomore Katie Manuel declaring May 13-19, 2018 Food Allergy Awareness Week in New York state.






2. Schools across the country participated in Food Allergy Awareness Week through #TealTakeover days and other food allergy awareness events.

St. Francis Cabrini School in West Bend, WI showed support for the food allergy community.




Kent Place School in Summit, NJ recognized Food Allergy Awareness Week with teal ribbons and presentations about food allergies.




The Elliot School in Boston’s North End embraced Food Allergy Awareness Week. Between Thursday, May 17 and Friday May 18, FARE’s Marie Malloy presented to about 500 students, as well as the school’s parent group.





3. FARE-Recognized Support Groups led presentations and awareness events in their areas.

West Georgia Food Allergy Support Group, led by Jenna Bearden, celebrated Food Allergy Awareness Week by raising awareness to at Temple Elementary School in Temple, Ga. Jade, age 10, educated students at the Kids Health Fair at school.






Food Allergy Support Team (FAST), led by Lawrin Bercowitz, raised awareness at a Memorial Day event on Long Island, NY. 







4. The Empire State Building and over 60 other landmarks were lit teal to shine a light on food allergies in honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week.


Empire State Building

For the third year in a row, the Empire State Building kicked off Food Allergy Awareness Week on Sunday night by turned teal to raise awareness for the food allergy community.






Rhode Island Statehouse

Throughout the month of May, thanks to the work of Turn It Teal, over 60 landmarks across the United States, Canada, and Jordan lit teal in honor of the food allergy community. These landmarks included U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles, Niagara Falls, the Zakim Bridge in Boston, the Rhode Island State House in Providence, Power and Light Building in Kansas City, and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia.





5. Individuals and groups proudly wore teal and posted photos on their social media profiles to show their support for Food Allergy Awareness Week on #TealTakeover Day.



FARE Ambassador August Maturo participated in the fun of #TealTakeover by posting on his social media accounts to raise awareness for Food Allergy Awareness Week.






6. FARE Clinical Network Centers of Excellence and FARE’s Community Engagement Team offered community events to educate and connect local community members.

The Food Allergy Center at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, a member of the FARE Clinical Network, and their Food Allergy Patient Family Advisory Council hosted a free community event on Tuesday, May 15. The evening started off with a viewing of the documentary, Rotten; The Peanut Problem, followed by a panel discussion on food allergies. The panel consisted of Dr. Paul Dowling (Medical Director of Food Allergy Center), Jodi Shroba APRN (Assistant Director of Food Allergy Center), Mandi Kearns (Chair of Family Advisory Council and Kansas City FARE Heroes Walk Chair) and Emily Brown (Member of Family Advisory Council and CEO of Food Equality Initiative). Children's Mercy Hospital is looking forward to hosting more community events in the future.


Chicago Community Engagement Council member Shannon Pokornik and Dr. Sarah Boudreau-Romano lead Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Food Allergy Hangout for kids on May 9th. This event, which happens several times each year, gives children with food allergies an opportunity to share their experiences with each other.




Community engagement volunteers presented California Assembly member Catharine Baker with a distinguished legislator award on May 21. Assembly Member Baker presented a proclamation declaring May 13-19, 2018 as Food Allergy Awareness Week in California again this year. 

Pictured: Dr. Travis Miller, Kim Brown, Melissa Rapela, Assemblywoman Baker, Melody Rapela, Sahru Keiser, Donna Kupper and Louis Giorgi.


Nearly 90 parents and teens attended the Food Allergy Conference for High School Students and their Parents, a collaboration between Boston Children's Hospital, MassGeneral Hospital for Children and FARE on Saturday. Topics including managing food allergies at college, traveling with food allergies and the latest in research. There were also Ask the Expert panels featuring teens, college students and healthcare professionals. The event was made possible through FARE’s community engagement initiative in the Boston region.



7. Food allergy advocates joined together in Albany, NY to meet with legislators.

Pictured: Georgina Cornago, Frank Frangella, Assemblywoman Melissa Miller, Cathee Frangella, Jon Terry, Dr. Kirsi Jarvinen-Seppo, Jennifer Jobrack of FARE, Assemblyman Al Taylor, Dina Silvera, Thomas Silvera and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti

Advocates met with members of the New York State Assembly about several bills that address various aspects of inclusion, safety, and emergency preparedness for individuals with food allergies. FARE, along with the Allergy Advocacy Association and a number of dedicated parents, grandparents and people with life-threatening allergies, are working together to garner support for Elijah’s Law, Gio’s Law and several other food allergy-related measures. FARE is grateful for all of the advocates who participated, especially Thomas and Dina Silvera, Georgina Cornago, Jon Terry and Frank and Cathee Frangella, all of whom have lost a loved one due to anaphylaxis.



8. Food Allergy Heroes Walk and Hometown Heroes Walk volunteers spoke with local media about Food Allergy Awareness Week.

Volunteers and community members such as Davenport, IA Hometown Heroes Walk Chair Jayme Nevens and Milwaukee Food Allergy Heroes Walk Chair Kara Schneider and her daughter Adel (pictured) raised awareness for the food allergy community on their local television stations. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to spread the word through local media.




9. The food allergy community participated in the first International Red Sneakers for Oakley Day.

May 20 was the first annual International Red Sneakers for Oakley Day, a day dedicated to bringing worldwide attention to food allergies. This initiative was created by the family of Oakley Debbs, a young athlete known for his red sneakers who tragically lost his life to anaphylaxis. Learn more about Red Sneakers For Oakley at RedSneakers.org


Thank you to everyone who helped to raise awareness!


Thank you again to this year’s Food Allergy Awareness Week sponsors, AimmuneTherapeutics, Enjoy Life Foods, free2b Foods, OWYN - Only What You Need, and Pure Encapsulations for helping to make this week possible.



   Please leave this field empty

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive the latest food allergy news and alerts.