In 2017, FARE developed exciting new projects and expanded ongoing programs to create a safer, more inclusive world for people with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This progress is built on the generosity of our donors. We are committed to being good stewards of our funds and faithful representatives of the food allergy community as we actively seek solutions that will help to change and save lives.
- The FARE College Search Tool helps students with food allergies find colleges and universities that can accommodate their needs. The college search database makes it easy for prospective students to compare dining and residential options, stock epinephrine availability, participation in the FARE College Food Allergy Program, and more.
- American Airlines currently denies pre-boarding to passengers with food allergies, while passengers with other disabilities are allowed to pre-board if needed. To remedy this unequal treatment, FARE filed a formal complaint against American Airlines with the U.S. Department of Transportation. We call on American Airlines to allow pre-boarding for individuals and families managing food allergy, to help them stay safe by providing time to wipe the seats and tray tables and remove food residues.
- The foodallergy.org website, which receives nearly 2.5 million visitors each year, underwent a major redesign. From Food Allergy 101 to deep dives on complex topics, our most popular online resources are now easier to access and navigate on any device. Educational content has been updated to meet health literacy recommendations and reviewed by our medical advisors to ensure accuracy.
- Our revitalized walk campaign, FARE’s Food Allergy Heroes Walk, celebrates the everyday heroes in our food allergy community while bringing public attention to this life-threatening disease and raised $1.3 million to fund FARE’s mission.
- The Hometown Heroes Community Walk for Food Allergy program, which helps passionate volunteers create food allergy fundraising events in their own communities. The first Hometown Heroes Walk, in Livingston Township, NJ, raised $58,000 for food allergy research, education, advocacy and awareness.
- Community engagement plans developed in nine cities – Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indianapolis, San Diego, and San Francisco – to meet needs expressed by the local food allergy community. The plans, driven by groups of local volunteers, address issues ranging from school and dining safety to preparing for college and educating health professionals.
- Millions of people worldwide were inspired by the Teal Pumpkin Project®, our movement for food allergy awareness at Halloween.This annual campaign fosters safety and inclusion for all trick-or-treaters, including kids for whom candy isn’t an option. Households and businesses in all 50 states and 14 countries joined in, placing more than 23,000 teal pins on FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project Participation Map and garnering coverage from more than 1,000 media outlets. In 2017, Teal Pumpkin Project merchandise was available in stores nationwide, and FARE sent 225 customized Teal Pumpkin Project kits to underserved schools in eight communities.
- Hundreds of families attended the 4th FARE National Food Allergy Conference in San Antonio and the 12th Annual FARE Teen Summit in Newport Beach, CA. Participants gained vital information, understanding and skills to support every stage of their food allergy journey. The popular Teen Summit Innovation Tank expanded in its second year, with 15 young finalists presenting their best concept or prototype to make life better for people with food allergies.
- Our free educational webinars can be accessed 24/7. Among this year’s topics were a Q&A on food allergy management in K-12 schools, a how-to guide for food allergy advocacy, and an explanation of new National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases guidelines, which promote early peanut introduction for babies at high risk for peanut allergy based on findings from the 2015 Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study co-funded by FARE.
- FARE funded Community Outreach Award grants, Community Engagement Council programs and conference scholarships totaling more than $122,000 to support outreach and training by local food allergy leaders and expand access to food allergy education.
- We marked a milestone in food allergy awareness with the 20th Food Allergy Awareness Week. Our 2017 awareness initiatives included the Food for Thought video series, addressing food allergy challenges, myths, research advances and community spirit; YouTube videos featuring FARE youth ambassador and actor August “Auggie” Maturo; and an award-winning Deadly Food Allergies campaign donated to FARE. On May 14, the spire of Empire State Building was lit teal, the color of food allergy awareness.