How to Raise Food Allergy Awareness
"It is never too late to start advocating for change for everyone with food allergies."
Guest post by Teen Advisory Group (TAG) member Emily Sheridan
One of my goals in 2023 is to advocate for myself and others with food allergies more often. However, it can be intimidating to start advocating for food allergy awareness in a world that is not-so-accepting of food allergies. I am going to teach you my tips and tricks on how to raise food allergy awareness. Whether you read this during Food Allergy Awareness Week or any other week, it is never too late to start advocating for change for everyone with food allergies.
- Start the conversation. One of the best and easiest ways to raise food allergy awareness is to talk to those around you. Sit down with your relatives, friends, or anyone else in your life and explain what it is like to live with food allergies. I have found that one of the biggest barriers to having a truly allergy-friendly world is the misinformation that is spread about food allergies. This is why it is so important to educate those around you about the truth of what it is like to live with food allergies.
- Start a food allergy social media account. My food allergy social media account is @nallergy on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube, and my blog is here. Starting food allergy social media accounts has helped me grow in my food allergy advocacy journey so much. It has allowed me to share my food allergy journey with a larger audience, find a community of others with food allergies, and learn more from other food-allergic individuals about different perspectives on having food allergies. This is a great way to share your story with a larger audience and connect with others from around the world. You can also start a food allergy blog, if you prefer.
- Join FARE's Teen Advisory Group. FARE is the organization that I learned how to advocate through. When I was in eighth grade, I joined their Teen Advisory Group (TAG), and I have loved advocating for food allergies ever since. FARE’s Teen Advisory Group consists of teens with food allergies who raise food allergy awareness through various teen-led initiatives. Some of the projects I have worked on over the years include writing blog posts, recording podcast episodes, and even writing a book. If you are a teen with food allergies, I recommend checking it out here.
- Participate in a FARE initiative. No matter if you are 15 or 55, there is an initiative you can join to help raise food allergy awareness. FARE has two yearly events that food-allergic individuals of all ages can participate in. One opportunity is the Courage at Congress event. This opportunity allows food-allergic individuals the chance to meet with legislators from their state to raise awareness of food allergy issues and advocate for better legislation for those with food allergies. Another great opportunity is the FARE Food Allergy Summit. This is a yearly summit that connects food-allergic individuals from around the world in a weekend of advocacy, education, and community. The next FARE Summit will be held in Orlando, FL, October 13-15, 2023.
Whichever way you choose to start advocating for food allergies, you are taking the first step in creating a more allergy-friendly environment for everyone with food allergies. Even the smallest actions can make the biggest difference when it comes to raising food allergy awareness!