It’s Food Allergy Awareness Month! Check out our new national awareness campaign and learn how you can help drive awareness all month long. Plus learn about our recently launched our new resource for post-secondary institutions, which will help campuses across Canada to be more allergy-friendly.
Be sure to nominate a food allergy advocate for our Robyn Allen Leadership Award. Plus, students can apply to win $1,000 with the Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award. Hurry, deadlines are fast approaching!
Discover the benefits of MedicAlert, and take advantage of a special promotion exclusive to Food Allergy Canada members.
Food Allergy Awareness Month
It’s Food Allergy Awareness Month in Canada and there are many exciting things we have planned to increase awareness and education of food allergies across the country.
Our focus for the month is on creating awareness about the seriousness of food allergy. Last year, many of you participated in a survey to help us better understand your needs. You told us that one of the key areas of support you need from us is to educate the public that food allergies are serious.
That’s why we have launched a new, national ad campaign to highlight the message that food allergies are not optional, and avoidance is the only strategy this community has to stay safe.
Our deepest gratitude goes out to two companies which have been instrumental in the development of this campaign: MediaCity for generously donating a large amount of outside billboard space in Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba, and PUBLIC Inc’s creative force in developing the exciting new ads. None of this would have been possible without their involvement.
Here are the ways you can help us to promote this campaign:
- Share our video shorts on food allergy do’s and don’ts. Each week we will be sharing a new video on social media. Here’s a sneak peek of the first one on celebrating safely. Let’s make it go viral, share on your social media and use the hashtag #FAAM.
- Hand out our food allergy dos and don’ts top 10 list to family, friends, coworkers, schools, and others. Print this tip sheet in PDF format.
- Distribute our food allergy fact sheet on what is food allergy and why it’s serious. Print this fact sheet in PDF format.
- Watch and share our Anaphylaxis 101 video to educate others on anaphylaxis, including causes, symptoms, and treatment.
There are many other activities you can participate in to drive awareness, including:
#PurpleDay on May 10th
Wear purple in honour of Caroline Lorette, a New Brunswick teen who tragically passed away in 2014 from an allergic reaction to dairy. The Sweet Caroline Foundation along with students in New Brunswick, have declared May 10th as #PurpleDay to increase food allergy awareness. Purple was Caroline’s favourite colour.
Hosting an allergy-friendly food drive
This is a great challenge where participants will learn how to properly read a food label, and develop a greater understanding of what it’s like to have food allergies. Learn more about hosting your own allergy-friendly food drive.
Paint one fingernail teal
Have the school staff and students paint one fingernail teal, the colour for food allergy. You can share it with us and tag it using #allergyaware – this is a great and simple visual way to start the conversation with others about food allergies and create awareness!
Lighting of national monuments
Monuments across Canada will light up teal in support of Food Allergy Awareness Month, including the CN Tower, Montreal City Hall, Niagara Falls, and BC Place, among many others. Check our listings for the date and locations across the country.
Advocating for youth: New post-secondary guide to support 150,000 students
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new resource called “Managing Food Allergies and Anaphylaxis: A Guide for Post-Secondary Institutions”. This comprehensive guide equips universities and colleges with critical information and resources to help them create a more allergy-friendly campus environment.
This initiative started in response to the death of university student Andrea Mariano in 2015. She suffered a fatal anaphylactic reaction on campus. Since that time, we collaborated with over 75 stakeholders to develop this robust guide.
This launch is only the start of our commitment to our post-secondary initiative. As youth with food allergies are at the highest risk of having a serious allergic reaction, we are continuing to develop a comprehensive strategy to enable teens and young adults to better manage their allergies with the support of their communities.
Check out foodallergycanada.ca/campusguide. There you will be able to download the guide and other resources and tools. Be sure to view our fun 2-minute video that outlines the benefits of the guide.
Help support this launch! Share the news with others using the hashtag #SupportingU. If you are attending a post-secondary institution (or your child is), please share the guide with your campus. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months on how you can support allergy-awareness on campuses.
The Robyn Allen Leadership Award and the Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award
Learn about our awards below and please share with others who may qualify!
Call for nominations extended to May 11th, 2018: The Robyn Allen Leadership Award
Nominate a health care professional, industry representative, government representative, or an individual who has exemplified extraordinary leadership and dedication in the advancement of food allergy awareness and education. Learn more and nominate by May 11, 2018.
Call for applications: The Sabrina Shannon Memorial Award
Apply for your chance to win one of two $1,000 awards. You must be a student entering your first year at a post-secondary institution, or continuing your studies. Applicants do not need to have food allergies to be eligible for the award. Learn more and apply by June 22, 2018.
MedicAlert® – An easy way to let others know about an allergy
There’s a number of items individuals with food allergies need to keep handy. From epinephrine auto-injectors, to allergy-safe food options, to inhalers for those who also have asthma – there’s no shortage of vitally important pocket-filling products.
However, one of the most important items may be a piece of medical jewellery – such as a MedicAlert® bracelet – to provide a quick and easy way to let others know about potential allergies.
We recently connected with MedicAlert about a few of their programs. Learn the latest about MedicAlert below, and be sure to check out the special offer they are providing exclusively for Food Allergy Canada members!
MedicAlert medical identification is engraved with key information such as allergies, necessary medications, or other vital medical/health information that is critically important in emergencies. Also engraved is a 24/7 Emergency Hotline number, staffed with medically trained specialists who can put emergency responders in touch with the emergency contact person (parents or other caregivers) as specified on the identification.
For more than 56 years, MedicAlert has been providing Canadians with this lifesaving service, and it’s a recognized, trusted brand among emergency responders.
To read about how MedicAlert changed the life of someone with food allergies, read Nolan’s story.
Membership Assistance program
The cost of managing food allergies can be too high for some families to manage, and as a result, kids may have to do without certain necessities for months or longer. To that end, MedicAlert has a Membership Assistance program for families who are experiencing financial limitations. Contact MedicAlert directly at 1-855-581-3791 or visit MedicAlert.ca to learn more about the types of programs available to protect your child.
Special offer for the Food Allergy Canada community
Receive special savings on MedicAlert protection:
- For anyone 18 and under – mention offer code FACYOUTH to receive a FREE $39 ID, or get $39 off any ID, FREE shipping, and 20% off your service plan.
- For anyone over 18 – mention offer code FACADULT to receive $50 off your order and FREE shipping.
To get this offer, please call MedicAlert directly at 1-855-581-3791.
Thanks MedicAlert for all you do to support this community!