In 2012, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) was formed as the result of a merger between the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI). The new organization combined FAAN’s expertise as the most trusted source of food allergy information, programs and resources with FAI’s leadership as the world’s largest private source of funding for food allergy research. Today, FARE is the leading national organization working on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergy, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis.
FAAN was established in 1991 by Anne Muñoz-Furlong, at a time when information about food allergies was difficult to find. The pioneering organization soon was widely recognized for the high quality of its educational initiatives, which offered expert advice to individuals and families who needed help in managing food allergies, as well as those working to support and care for them. FAAN designed educational programs, resources and training tools for a wide range of audiences: individuals and families, educators, health professionals, camp personnel, restaurant staff, food manufacturers and others. FAAN’s accomplishments included involvement in historic legislation regarding food labeling; the creation of Food Allergy Awareness Week, a national awareness initiative launched in 1998; and educational programs taught in schools across the country. Through these initiatives and programs such as its Food Allergy Conferences, Teen Summit and Food Allergy Walks, FAAN provided help and hope to all those affected by food allergies, and played a major role in raising public awareness of the seriousness of this potentially deadly disease.
FAI was founded in 1998 by concerned parents and grandparents who were committed to advancing food allergy research – a field that received little federal or private support at the time. By the time of the merger, FAI was the largest private source of funding in the world for food allergy research, investing in clinical trials of new therapies, basic research, and epidemiological studies in the U.S. and overseas. Many of these projects were conducted in partnership with federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 2011, FAI brought together prominent investigators, government and industry representatives, and food allergy advocates for a groundbreaking Research Retreat, which focused on advancing new treatments that would protect individuals with food allergies against life-threatening reactions. In addition, FAI’s advocacy was instrumental in increasing the federal investment in food allergy research, from $4 million in 2004 to $31 million today. For these efforts, the organization received Research!America’s 2012 Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award.
Several years before the merger, the two organizations worked together on a number of successful initiatives, particularly in the areas of education and advocacy. FAAN’s and FAI’s boards of directors recognized that the best way to serve the food allergy community would be by merging together to create a single, unified voice working on behalf of all those affected by food allergies. In addition, the merger would ensure that resources were pooled and used more efficiently to provide broader arrays of educational programs for managing food allergies at every stage of life, develop training programs for professionals serving those with food allergies, and support life-changing research. The result was the creation of FARE – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness and the world’s largest private source of funding for food allergy research.
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (founded 1991)
Food Allergy Initiative (founded 1998)
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