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IT’S FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS WEEK WOOHOOO

Happy Food Allergy Awareness Week!  FAAW 2016 runs from May 8th – 14th.  This year, I requested proclamations from my governor and the mayor of my city, and both came through for me!  FAAW is being celebrated in other ways as well.  Turn it Teal is working to build food allergy awareness by lighting up iconic buildings in teal (the color for food allergy awareness).  Tonight (May 8th) the Empire State Building will feature teal lights and on May 13th Niagara Falls will be lit in teal as well.  (See the full list of lighting around Canada and the US here.)

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Write your Governor!

Write your Governor!

Do you want to support food allergies, but are not sure how?  A super easy way to advocate for food allergies is to contact your state’s governor and request a formal proclamation for Food Allergy Awareness Week.  (This link will direct you to your state’s page.  FARE has made this super easy!)  For the past couple of years, I have mailed proclamation requests to my state’s governor.  You can either do an online request, although in my state I have found it easier to mail a physical copy.  It mostly depends on how easy it is to send your request through the governor’s website.  Food Allergy Awareness Week falls on the week of May 10th-16th this year, and most state’s deadlines are about a month in advance, so I recommend getting your request in soon!

Message

On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of food allergic residents of our state, I am writing to request that a proclamation be issued this year for FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS WEEK, May 10-16, 2015.
Food allergies are a life-threatening illness that affects as many as 15 million Americans, and the prevalence is increasing among children. One in every 13 children has food allergies, or approximately two per classroom.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergy results in more than 300,000 ambulatory care visits a year involving children under 18.
There is no cure for food allergy, and rapid- onset reaction can result in anaphylaxis.  Anaphylaxis is a severe, whole-body allergic reaction. Symptoms develop quickly, often within seconds or minutes, and may include:  hives, vomiting, respiratory distress, swelling of the throat, a precipitous drop in blood pressure, shock and death.
With your support in declaring FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS WEEK, we can continue to increase public awareness about food allergies.  It is our objective to help educate schools, restaurants and the citizens of our state on the serious and potentially life-threatening nature of food allergies.
Please find below a draft of a proposed Proclamation for FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS WEEK for the week of May 10-16, 2015 to help build recognition and support for food-allergic citizens.  You may send the proclamation to:
[insert your address here]
On behalf of all the families who must struggle with food allergies, thank you for your consideration and support.

Proclomation

FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS WEEK PROCLAMATION
WHEREAS, as many as 15 million Americans have food allergies; nearly 6 million are children under the age of 18.
WHEREAS, research shows that the prevalence of food allergy is increasing among children.
WHEREAS, eight foods cause 90% of all food allergy reactions in the U.S.: shellfish, fish, milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and wheat. Symptoms of a food-allergic reaction can include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, respiratory distress, and swelling of the throat.
WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergy results in more than 300,000 ambulatory care visits a year involving children under 18. Reactions typically occur when an individual unknowingly eats a food containing an ingredient to which they are allergic.
WHEREAS, there is no cure for food allergy, and scientists do not understand why.  Strict avoidance of the offending food is the only way to prevent an allergic reaction.
WHEREAS, anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death.
WHEREAS, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments,
THEREFORE I , ________, GOVERNOR for the _________________, do hereby proclaim
May 10-16, 2015: Food Allergy Awareness Week in the _______________________.

Above is a template letter (provided by FARE) to send to the governor.  I recommend personalizing it a bit, but this is entirely up to you.

 

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