I grew up allergic to eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and sesame seeds. Finding safe foods in supermarkets has always been a challenge. I’ve had the resources to be able to purchase those foods and cook what I need to, but for food pantries that can be a lot more difficult.
About 32 million people in the United States have food allergies. My mission at Securing Safe Food is to make sure food pantries have the resources that they need to offer their clients allergen-free foods. We’ve formed partnerships with over 30 food pantries across the country and have donated over a hundred thousand items.
I’ve gotten a lot of friends and other young people involved in this cause. Everyone on our team either has food allergies themselves or has a close friend or sibling with allergies, and I think that really drives us. Walking into a food pantry and not being sure of where your next meal’s coming from is hard enough as is.
SSF not only provides the clients that we serve with physical items but also a sense of dignity. And that’s one of the most important things for me.