FARE Community Access Program Addresses Health Disparities in Food Allergy
Program Looks to Expand Beyond Initial Cities to Additional Under-Resourced Communities
McLean, Va. (Dec. 14, 2022) – FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the nation’s leading food allergy organization, is actively addressing health disparities in food allergy through its latest initiative, the Community Access Program (CAP). Launched in Newark, NJ in 2021, the program has since expanded to Chicago, IL and Washington, DC, leading the way in delivering needed food allergy education, support, and care directly to historically marginalized and under-resourced communities.
To address the racial and economic inequities in food allergy, FARE’s CAP program builds, supports and sponsors education and awareness activities that are tailored to meet the needs of each community, providing essential information and training to help those with life-threatening food allergies.
“We’re building a model for community-centered partner engagement that’s sustainable, reproduceable, and long-lasting,” said Anita Roach, MS, FARE’s Vice President of Community Programs and Health Equity. “These relationships improve CAP’s sustainability and reach, ultimately enabling us to support the safety and inclusion of food allergy families for the long-term.”
The CAP program has already hit significant milestones. In 2022 alone, CAP supported 19 educational opportunities in its three, core communities. It also extended the program’s reach through a nationwide study of more than 6,000 patients and caregivers that provided important insights into the high economic and psychosocial burdens that food allergy inflicts on a population that is racially and ethnically diverse, predominantly lower income, and impacted by food insecurity.
“We are so proud of the progress CAP has made since its introduction in 2021,” said Sung Poblete, RN, PhD, and CEO of FARE. “In collaboration with our dedicated community partners, we are tackling health disparities in food allergy to improve outcomes for our food allergy community’s most vulnerable members.”
Specific highlight activities in CAP communities include:
- CAP Newark, NJ focuses on the medically underserved and socioeconomically diverse South Ward neighborhood, where more than 20% of households report at least one food allergy. Through a back-to-school campaign, FARE has reached more than 10,000 students and school staff. FARE is also one of more than 30 partners participating in a multi-year U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhood grant.
- While Black children are at elevated risk of developing food allergies, fewer than 3% are represented in groundbreaking food allergy clinical trials. In the underserved neighborhoods of Wards 7 and 8 in Washington, DC, CAP is working with Black children and adults to close this research participation gap through a two-year program funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). This nonprofit is authorized by Congress to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policymakers make better-informed health decisions.
- In Chicago, IL, FARE and its community partners are working with Black and Latino neighborhoods in the South Side. Collaborating with Mobile Care Chicago and the FARE Clinical Network’s Midwest Allergy Research Initiative, the program provides hyper-local access to clinical services to diagnose, manage and treat food allergy and also hosts critical information sessions for families.
“When it comes to diseases like food allergy, people end up stigmatized because of what they don’t know,” said Matt Siemer, Executive Director, Mobile Care Chicago. “The CAP program provides an opportunity to ask critical questions about food allergies and get information and access to health care that can transform lives.”
Expansion of CAP to additional disadvantaged communities across urban and rural regions over the next five years is central to FARE’s health equity commitment to help make food allergy education, awareness, and resources available to all who need them.
FARE is grateful to Don and Kathy Levin, and Cari and Michael J. Sacks for their leadership philanthropy which has laid the foundation for CAP’s success. This program is also funded in part through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington Engagement Award (EA #22900), and a U.S. Department of Education Promise Neighborhood grant from Brick Education Network.
FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy as well as the largest private funder of food allergy research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more, visit: foodallergy.org.