The week of May 11-17 marks the official Food Allergy Awareness Week, but that doesn’t mean spreading food allergy awareness and support has to end there. Thanks to social media, community programs and popular events, the year of 2014 brings more opportunities than ever to help educate others on the effects of food allergies, and to provide support to those who deal with it on a daily basis.
Food Allergy Awareness Month
FARE, the organization behind Food Allergy Awareness Week, has just come out this year announcing the first annual Food Allergy Awareness Month for the entire month of May. So rather than packing all of their planned events and outreach campaigns into one week, FARE is hosting numerous opportunities to raise awareness of food allergies throughout the entire month, including:
- #TealTakeover, a social media and community campaign featuring everything decked out in the color teal, the official color of food allergy awareness
- A generous donor, willing to match any FARE donation (up to $150,000) during the month of May
- FARE Walk for Food Allergy, taking place in Boise, Idaho on the 18th
Spread the Word on Food Allergies
Helping adults and kids with food allergies thrive in a safe and healthy environment is a community effort, and that means spreading awareness of food allergies, including their potential severity, the dangers of cross contamination, and the importance of access to epinephrine injectors. Thanks to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, this vital information is easy to access and even easier to share with others.
Recognizing the power of social media, FARE provides numerous opportunities to help spread the word on food allergies. Anyone interested is free to tweet their handy list of food allergy facts, and can also post any of their available info graphics to Facebook, Pinterest or any other image-friendly social media platform. Other ways to help spread food allergy awareness online is to “Like” and share blogs and Facebook pages dedicated to food allergies.
Social media sites may offer a powerful platform to share information on food allergies, but community events can have a profound impact as well. Throughout the year, FARE is hosting Walk for Food Allergy, a family-friendly event taking place in major cities across the country. This family-friendly event is fun for adults and children alike, and also serves as a great fundraiser for food allergy research.
For those looking for a more exciting outlet to show support and spread awareness for those living with food allergies, FARE’s Over the Edge event provides the perfect opportunity. Participants in major cities face their fears and rappel down the sides of skyscrapers, making an impact on food allergy research, and having fun at the same time!
Other ways of spreading food allergy awareness within the community include planning allergy-friendly school events and hosting food allergy education seminars. Even something as simple as throwing an allergy-friendly birthday party can show support and help educate others about food allergies.
Spreading food allergy support and education doesn’t have to involve a wider community, either. Consider joining a local food allergy support group with other parents, or even create one of your own. Living with food allergies can feel alienating at times for both the children and their parents, so these support groups are a great way to connect and share your experience with others.
Supporting kids with food allergies really is a community effort, but while food allergy rates continue to rise, widespread awareness and understanding has yet to catch on. By taking part in Food Allergy Awareness Month and beyond, however, this much-needed awareness of food allergies will spread, and the adults and children living with food allergies will receive the community support they deserve.