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Media Room February 04, 2021

FARE Teams with South Ward Promise Neighborhood in Newark, NJ to Support Food Allergy Families

Community needs assessment to spotlight challenges and inform outreach to those managing food allergy

McLean, Va. (February 04, 2021)– FARE, the world’s leading non-governmental organization engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest private funder of food allergy research, has partnered with South Ward Promise Neighborhood (SWPN) in Newark, NJ, to gather input from community members managing food allergies and work together to identify local priorities for food allergy awareness, training and support programs. Building on grassroots involvement and feedback, the FARE Community Access Initiative will establish a self-sustaining framework for food allergy support and advocacy in the South Ward, that can also serve as a model for expanding food allergy services in other cities across the country.

FARE recognizes that underserved and low-income communities experience significant health disparities relating to food allergy prevalence, diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, Black children have been shown to be more likely to develop food allergy than white children, and children covered by Medicaid are much less likely to receive a doctor’s diagnosis of food allergy than are children in the U.S. overall. 

“For people with food allergies, access to safe food is a critical challenge with severe health consequences,” noted Lisa Gable, chief executive officer for FARE. “A FARE-funded study found that low-income households managing food allergies spend more than two times more on emergency department and hospitalization costs than food allergy households with higher incomes.  This cost disparity may reflect limited access to specialty care, safe foods and emergency medications such as epinephrine auto-injectors in economically challenged communities. Through collaboration with South Ward Promise Neighborhood, FARE is searching for ways to build trust, bring hope and improve the quality of life and the health of food allergy families.” 

Following a community needs assessment, FARE will establish how individuals and families are managing food allergies and the challenges they face. The assessment will drive development of programmatic solutions to address those challenges, such as access to care, educational resources, and support and training for schools, food banks and health care providers. The programs will be guided by a volunteer council of parents, health and educational professionals, and other community stakeholders. 

“More than half of the children living in the South Ward live in poverty—that’s nearly twice the national rate and they deserve better, starting with their health and safety,” said Nichelle Holder, Chief Program Officer, SWPN. “We are thrilled to have found a partner in FARE and together we look forward to uncovering ways we can improve the lives of children living with challenging health conditions such as food allergies, and get them the support they need, setting them up for a better future.”

The FARE Community Access Initiative is part of FARE’s holistic Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA) initiative. The programs associated with the initiative will enable significant impact for the diverse food allergy community and are designed to advance conversation and collaboration to ensure that patients of color have seats at the table and their needs are met.  

“Our goal is to improve the quality of life for all individuals with food allergy, and to meet their growing needs,” said Anita Roach, MS, vice president, health innovation strategies at FARE.  “By working directly with our partners at SWPN, FARE can help address the priorities of this community and make a real difference.”

Food allergy is an expensive disease that costs U.S. families more than $25 billion annually while disproportionately impacting low-income and underserved communities. FARE plans to apply successful approaches developed through the program piloted in Newark to expand access to food allergy services in other communities nationwide on behalf of the 32 million Americans living with potentially life-threatening food allergies.

To learn more about the FARE Community Access Initiative program, visit www.foodallergy.org/cai

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About FARE

FARE (Food Allergy Research & 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.

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