Over two million Americans live in poverty with food allergies or celiac disease. Additionally, 46 million Americans rely on food banks to feed themselves and their families. Given the unprecedented increase in chronic hunger as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to improve access to and affordability of allergy-friendly foods.
TAG member Shreya Shivakumar is the founder and president of Nourish America, a nonprofit organization which provides allergy-friendly food to people in need. Since its inception in December 2018, Nourish America has held allergy-friendly food drives and fundraisers to provide over 1,000 pounds of allergy-friendly food to underprivileged communities in New Jersey and the Tri-state area. Nourish America has collaborated with food banks, including the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, to distribute the food donations.
The youth-led organization also hosts the annual Notes For Nourish Benefit Concert to raise money to provide local food banks with allergy-friendly foods: held in 2019 and virtually in June 2020, Notes For Nourish helped raise a total of $1,200 for this cause. After the coronavirus shutdown, Nourish America held an online fundraiser working with the Refugee Assistance Partners (RAP) to provide 120 refugee families with fresh produce and groceries from March to June 2020. Nourish America's team also spreads awareness about food insecurity and food allergies on its Instagram account: @nourishamerica.
To learn more about Nourish America, please visit their website.