Our Impact in 2017
FARE is the leading national advocacy organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans who have food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. We work hard to ensure that every dollar raised brings us closer to improving the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to providing them hope through the promise of new treatments.
When you support FARE, you’re investing in programs and resources that change – and save – lives. In 2017, your donations helped us make great progress in each area of our mission. Keep reading to learn more about the impact your donations make every day!
Your Donations at Work in 2017
LIFE – FARE’s education, advocacy and awareness initiatives support the ability of individuals with food allergies to live safe, productive lives with the respect of others. In 2017, FARE:
- Introduced the FARE College Search Tool to help students with food allergies find colleges and universities that can accommodate their needs. The college search database makes it easy for prospective students to compare dining and residential options, stock epinephrine availability, participation in the FARE College Food Allergy Program, and more.
Inspired millions of people worldwide through the Teal Pumpkin Project®, our movement for food allergy awareness at Halloween. This annual campaign fosters safety and inclusion for all trick-or-treaters, including kids for whom candy isn’t an option. Households and businesses in all 50 states and 14 countries joined in, placing more than 23,000 teal pins on FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project Participation Map and garnering coverage from more than 1,000 media outlets. In 2017, Teal Pumpkin Project merchandise was available in stores nationwide, and FARE sent 225 customized Teal Pumpkin Project kits to underserved schools in eight communities.
- Redesigned the foodallergy.org website, which receives nearly 2.5 million visitors each year. From Food Allergy 101 to deep dives on familiar topics, our most popular online resources are now easier to access and navigate on any device. Educational content has been updated to meet health literacy recommendations and reviewed by our medical advisors to ensure accuracy.
- Welcomed hundreds of families to the 4th FARE National Food Allergy Conference in San Antonio and the 12th Annual FARE Teen Summit in Newport Beach, CA. Participants gained vital information, understanding and skills to support every stage of their food allergy journey. The popular Teen Summit Innovation Tank expanded in its second year, with 15 young finalists presenting their best concept or prototype to make life better for people with food allergies.
- Shared free educational webinars that can be accessed 24/7. Among this year’s topics were a Q&A on food allergy management in K-12 schools, a how-to guide for food allergy advocacy, and an explanation of new National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases guidelines, which promote early peanut introduction for babies at high risk for peanut allergy based on findings from the 2015 Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study co-funded by FARE.
- Funded Community Outreach Award grants, Community Engagement Council programs and conference scholarships totaling more than $122,000 to support outreach and training by local food allergy leaders and expand access to food allergy education.
- Filed a formal complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation against American Airlines for their denial of pre-boarding to passengers with food allergies, while passengers with other disabilities are allowed to pre-board if needed. Pre-boarding helps food allergy families stay safe while flying by providing time to wipe clean the seats and tray tables to remove food residues.
- Created and released plans in nine cities – Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, and San Francisco – to meet the needs expressed by the local food allergy community. The plans, driven by groups of local volunteers, address issues ranging from school and dining safety to preparing for college and educating health professionals.
Joined forces with heroes in 39 cities to welcome FARE’s Food Allergy Heroes Walk. Our revitalized walk campaign celebrates the everyday heroes in the food allergy community, brings public attention to the serious nature of food allergies and, in 2017, raised $1.3 million to fund FARE’s research, education, advocacy and awareness initiatives.
- Established the Hometown Heroes Community Walk for Food Allergy program, which helps passionate volunteers create food allergy fundraising events in their own communities. The first Hometown Heroes Walk, which was held in Livingston Township, NJ, supported FARE’s mission by raising $58,000.
- Marked the 20th Food Allergy Awareness Week by reaching out to diverse audiences to highlight how food allergies affect 15 million Americans and their families. These efforts included the Food for Thought video series, addressing food allergy challenges, myths, research advances and community spirit; YouTube videos featuring FARE youth ambassador and actor August “Auggie” Maturo; and a Deadly Food Allergies campaign donated to FARE. On May 14, the spire of Empire State Building was lit teal, the color of food allergy awareness.
HEALTH – FARE works to enhance the healthcare access of individuals with food allergies to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment. In 2017, FARE:
- Worked with regulators, industry representatives and non-governmental bodies to protect the food allergy community by promoting safe food handling and labeling practices. Spoke at conferences and meetings hosted by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Confectioners Association, the American Spice Trade Association, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and others.
- Was invited to serve on the Conference for Food Protection, a non-profit organization that provides input to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on updates to the Food Code. FARE’s voice in this process ensures continued recognition of food allergies as a safety issue for restaurants and food service providers.
- Continued ongoing efforts to expand the federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) by including sesame as a major food allergen.
Organized state advocacy action days in Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri and Texas to raise awareness about food allergies and the importance of emergency preparedness. We supported successful bills that strengthened food allergy training for Illinois restaurants and expanded student access to epinephrine in Texas (private schools), New York (school buses) and Pennsylvania (school buses and crossing guards).
- Delivered 39,000 copies of Your Food Allergy Field Guide, FARE’s free toolkit that gives patients and families the critical information they need to navigate from initial diagnosis to living well with food allergies. Since this program began in November 2013, FARE has distributed an estimated 180,000 copies of these critical education resources. A digital version can be downloaded for free from FARE’s website.
HOPE – Through support for academic and industry research, FARE promotes the development of new therapies and offers hope for effective treatments. In 2017, FARE:
- Launched the FARE Patient Registry, a password-protected database through which food allergy patients or their legal representatives can help drive food allergy research forward by sharing their deidentified (anonymous) medical histories with the members of the research community. Nearly 3,000 patients joined the registry during 2017.
- Expanded the FARE Clinical Network (FCN), a pioneering collaboration among leading food allergy centers to coordinate best practices in research and clinical care. The 29 centers of excellence that make up the FCN offer state-of-the-art food allergy diagnosis, management and clinical trials to patients and families across the country
- Invested more than $1 million to support innovative new research by three exceptional scientists who received 2017 FARE Investigators in Food Allergy Awards. This multi-year research grant program attracts gifted early and mid-career investigators to the field of food allergy. The projects funded in 2017 will assess whether inhibiting enzymes active during allergic reactions might lead to better outcomes for oral immunotherapy, examine the role of adding sugar molecules to allergy-mediating IgE antibodies in promoting or limiting allergic reactions, and study a unique, inherited predisposition to food allergies to better understand the development of food allergies in the general population.
- Supported key new discoveries through the 2015 FARE Investigator in Food Allergy Awards. One award recipient identified a type of immune cell found only in individuals with allergies. Another demonstrated that mothers exposed to a food while pregnant and nursing produce food-specific antibodies that are transferred to the newborn during breastfeeding and protect the newborn against allergies to the food.
- Continued support for immunotherapy trials to treat peanut, tree nut and wheat allergies.
Convened two meetings attended by researchers, government officials, industry representatives and food allergy advocates from around the world. At the fifth Research Retreat, recipients of the 2015 and 2017 FARE Investigator in Food Allergy Awards were among the presenters who reported their research plans and progress to more than 100 participants. During the first Partners in Action Day hosted by the International Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Alliance, patient representatives from 19 countries shared their insights with regulators, drug and food manufacturers, scientists, clinicians and others.
- Brought patient perspectives to food allergy research through the Outcomes Research Advisory Board (ORAB), a partnership of patient representatives and others. Regional ORAB groups identified patient priorities for research and developed novel ways to communicate this information to key stakeholders.
Your donations help ensure that these programs – and many others – will continue to make a difference in thousands of lives in 2018 and beyond. Thank you for your support!