Epinephrine auto-injector. Medical jewellery. Allergy-friendly foods. For low-income Canadian families, the cost of managing food allergies is often too high. This summer on our blog, we are running a series about the community heroes who are making a difference for low-income families and others in need with food allergies.
This month’s hero: Alex Tagliani.
Long before he was a racecar driver, Alex Tagliani was a kid with food allergies, at a time when food allergy awareness was not on most people’s radar. As an adult he rose to fame on the track and never forgot his food allergy community.
Food Allergy Canada is proud to once again be a part of the Summer of TAG campaign with Alex and with the support of Pfizer Canada (Canadian distributor of EpiPen®). Through Summer of TAG, Alex is educating about food allergies through community events, racing and a special cross-Canada food drive for families in need.
Helping all families
Many low-income families rely on food banks at the end of the month and in other times of need. But families with food allergies can’t always find the foods they need at food banks (which rely on donations).
Team Alex came up with the idea of a food drive to help our food banks provide more allergy-friendly products. “It’s important to help all families dealing food allergies to have safe options available for them,” says Alex. “This becomes especially important for those using food banks. Having fully-labelled products will make it easier for these families.”
Throughout the summer at various races, the Allergy-friendly Food Drive Challenge will be collecting allergy-friendly non-perishable food products and donating them to local shelters and food banks. You can visit the website to find out participating races near you. There is also a contest for schools in the Fall (see below for more info).
The importance of reading labels
The food drive “raises awareness of the importance of reading food labels and understanding how to identify allergens in common everyday foods,” says Alex. “This is important to people living with food allergies, but also affects families, friends and others in our community that may buy products for them.”
“Understanding what to look for on a food label is essential for making safe choices, especially when you have food allergies.”
Well-said, Alex. Thanks for all you are doing to help Canadian families. We are proud to be a part of this partnership.
Tags: Alex Tagliani, community heroes, food drive