Tuesday, April 29, 2014

UPDATE: Successful Support of A Food Allergy Cooking Show

Wow!!!! Scratch Test Kitchen by Stephanie Crugnola reached their fundraising goal through the +Kickstarter fundraiser.  I couldn't be more excited for them right now. I believe that their goals are realistic and reachable in order to produce a professional show series.  I think that this show can help so many people.  It's official, this show WILL begin production this fall.  

They really couldn't have done it without the constant support of each and everyone who shared the link and donated.  THANK YOU to everyone who supported the Kickstarter campaign to make Stephanie Crugnola's dream a reality!!!!

Scratch Test Kitchen plans produce a cooking show geared towards helping people affected by food allergies find easy, fun and delicious recipes that they can make at home. They know how hard it can be to work around food allergies in the kitchen, especially when you’re a young adult living on your own or a parent who has more than one hungry and unique stomach to think about. They want to help people create meals that everyone can enjoy whether they have allergies or not! 

An online search for cooking with food allergies will yield many groups, websites, and blogs that give recipes and support, but no cooking shows that guide you step by step through meals. No television network offers a show of its kind either! It seems crazy to think that with the recent dramatic rise in food allergies and intolerances that there is still this void, but I am confident that they can fill it. 

Their show is not just for people with food allergies—it’s a chance to raise awareness as a community that includes friends and families. If you’ve ever tried to cook for someone with food allergies, it can be just as stressful as if you have them yourself. Scratch Test Kitchen will help. 

Each episode will take your requests for what specific allergies they focus on, favorite foods that you miss, or ideas for party foods that you can make and share with a whole group of people. 

Their Goals: 

All donations will go towards producing their first season which will include a full scale pilot episode that can be proposed to networks and to allergy-friendly food companies for support, while continuing to create shorter online episodes. 

Their budget goals are in place so they can maintain a level of professional quality that will allow Scratch Test Kitchen to grow and become the standard in food allergy cooking. The film crew is comprised of professionals who have worked on national and international broadcast commercials and films. They have already donated their time to help make this Kickstarter video, and this budget will allow them to keep working with this talented crew. Along with the crew, they have food to buy, a studio kitchen to rent, guest chefs to bring in, as well as other marketing costs.

Scratch Test Kitchen on Facebook
Scratch Test Kitchen on Tumbler
Scratch Test Kitchen on Twitter

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

UPDATE on Call to Action: Food Allergy Children’s Literature

The #FoodAllergy Awareness and Resources Campaign to donate "The No Biggie Bunch" series to 500 Libraries throughout 50 States was a resounding success. They raised the money to send the series of  four children's books to over 500 libraries and schools.  These four books help kids with and without food allergies to realize that their situation is just another aspect of what makes them uniquely special. The characters are kids who look just like any child in the classroom with their own styles and interests. 

Each state in the US is at a different level of food allergy awareness, education and advocacy, however, every state has public libraries where all can access resources for free. The vital piece is ensuring that resources are available. That’s how we can made a difference! 

The No Biggie Bunch 50 States – 500 Libraries campaign offset the shipping and postage costs to deliver a bundle of 4 No Biggie Bunch books to each of 500 libraries across the 50 United States, timed to coincide with the American Library Association’s 2014 National Library Week. This year, the ALA is recognizing that “Lives Change @ your Library.” Lives of kids with food allergies and their friends can change at their libraries. Having this food allergy resource accessible to the little hands that might need them most is in your hands! 

Here is the link to learn more: No Biggie Bunch Website

Monday, April 21, 2014


With all the recent news of students who have passed tragically away due to an anaphylactic reaction to their food allergy, it is more important than ever to make certain that our schools have access to epinephrine and the training to inject it.  The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America supports school policies that promote access to life-saving medications to treat students and staff who experience severe allergic reactions. Huge progress was made in  2013 when President Obama signed The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act into law.

The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act creates a preference for states that require schools to maintain a supply of the epinephrine to allow trained school personnel to administer it in an apparent emergency, and offer limited protection from civil liability to those who act. Thus, states that require schools to meet these requirements will have an advantage in obtaining federal asthma program funding.  States should implement policies that promote access, including: supplying schools with epinephrine auto-injectors to be used in emergencies, appropriately training school personnel, and addressing liability concerns for those who use this medication in good-faith.
Thus far there are 27 states which have passed laws which either require or authorize schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors.

If all schools have access to undesignated epinephrine auto injectors and staff trained to administer the medication, children will not die at school when a snack lands in the wrong hands or has unfortunately been contaminated through cross-contamination. As of September, 2014 only 8 proactive states have laws/guidelines which require stocking epinephrine while 34 states have laws/guidelines which allow schools to stock it.  Shockingly, there are 8 states which have nothing in place or have bills languishing in their state congress. 
If each of us, contact our legislators and senators, we can make an impact and help to prevent another unnecessary death due to ananphylaxis. Will you advocate for epinephrine stocking laws in your state? You can make a difference by emailing advocacy@aafa.org to get started. 

Or you can use this link to their template for a letter to your state legislators: http://www.aafa.org/pdfs/Advocate%20Letter%20Final.pdf
To read their statements of support:  www.aafa.org/epinephrine

Data source: http://www.foodallergy.org/advocacy/epinephrine/map

Friday, April 11, 2014

Children's Food Allergy Author wins Mom's Choice Award 2013

Stephanie Sorkin has a degree in English Literature and lives in New York. As a mom of a child with multiple food allergies, she wrote Nutley, about an adorable squirrel who doesn't let his nut allergy slow him down. He inspires children with food allergies to live their lives to the fullest.  She is proud to donate 100% of the book proceeds to +Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) because she wants to give back to the food allergy community so we will be closer to answers and solutions!
While allergies have become so common in so many classrooms, this book is a great tool to inform students and parents.  I love the writing and illustrations which are so easy to identify with. The fact that the author and her daughter collaborated to write the book is so special. I highly recommend it as a resource for discussion about food allergies in any home or elementary classroom setting.
So join Nutley on his journey to stay healthy and safe with the help of his friends while supporting advocacy & research about food allergies.

You can find it on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nutley-Nut-Free-Squirrel-Stephanie-Sorkin/dp/1620861585