Last year at AFAA's annual walk I overheard a young boy at the refreshment stand saying "mom - I can actually eat ALL of the things here!" The excitement in his eyes brought tears to mine!
AFAA is and has been an amazing organization to work with on many levels! As a parent of a child with food allergies there are daily battles. We have ongoing worries about safety, security, belonging, and enjoyment of life for our children. AFAA supports parents and individuals with food allergies in so many amazing ways. They get the word out to the public that food allergies need to be taken seriously by meeting with legislators, going to the state capitol, and completing interviews on television and radio. AFAA includes children in their work as they have holiday activities that do not involve food. A few of our favorites are the Halloween party, 4th of July parade, and the Walk at the Mall of America. What amazes me is the dedication and persistence that the leaders of this organization show. They have been positive role models for me and family from the first encounter with AFAA! We look forward to our life long journey with food allergies knowing that we have AFAA on our side.
AFAA helps my grandchildren by providing events that they can attend without worrying about their food allergies, like a special summer camp, Halloween party and Walk at the Mall of America, Twins and Timberwolves games in Minnesota. Also, AFAA ensured that schools in Minnesota allow kids to have easy access to their emergency medicine and peanut free areas at school.
Review from Guidestar
I was so impressed with the excitement of all of the walkers. They were involved and appreciated in the work to set up this program to assist themselves and there families affected with food allergies. When I volunteer I always wish that this is a viable cause, and it is and very important to all peoples. Blessings to this program
I became involved with this organization in honor of my sister and nephew who have both suffered from severe food allergies their entire lives. I fell in love with the organization because of their passion, drive, structure, accomplishments and genuine care. Everyone involved with this organization has nothing but good things to say about it and the people involved. Very positive & supportive!
When our daughter was a toddler she was diagnosed with nearly 20 food allergies - she's since outgrown half of them so we're only faced with ten. They are life threatening. I cannot explain how overwhelming it is to live with allergies, especially when first diagnosed. Cooking, shopping and eating immediately became an intense puzzle. We found so little information and resources at the time so we were grateful to find AFAA. Through them, we met a number of helpful people who shared recipes, travel and shopping tips, and could truly empathize with the daily fear and frustrations of allergies. Over the years we've discovered that although daily life becomes more managable, each new experience brings incredible challenges. Navigating childhood joys like playdates, birthday parties, school, church or camp is very stressful. Because allergies are a life-long journey for us and our daughter, we deeply appreciate the advocacy, education, support and awareness AFAA does on behalf of all families with living with food allergies. The founders are tireless and continue to offer new, creative opportunities while providing steady support and advocacy.
There are defining moments in everyone's lives and our son's food allergy diagnosis was one of them. Our son has a life-threatening food allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. It has changed the way we look at food, live our lives, and interact with the world around us. AFAA has been our lifeline as we navigate through this food allergy journey. It has provided needed food allergy education to families, schools, and communities. The organization's advocacy work has provided our son with safeguards at school and in emergency situations (i.e. anaphylaxis) that ensures our son will receive epinephrine treatment. Thank you AFAA for taking the fear out of food allergies and for being a leader as a MN non-profit food allergy organization!
AFAA has helped our family deal with the very difficult task of living with a child with a life threatening food allergy. We received so much support and help - both concrete and emotional - from AFAA that I volunteered to take on the huge task of chairing the first ever AFAA Walk at the Mall of America. I was more than happy to do the work - as AFAA's director came to our school to talk about training the staff on Epi-PEns. I have attended the AFAA conference for years and received loads of information from the medical professionals and other families living with food allergies. My family has volunteered for years at the AFAA booth at the State fair - it is so important to educate other people about how scary and life threatening a food allergy is - all it takes is one bite! And we see thousands of people every day at the State Fair booth so this is a perfect way to get out the message. Living with a food allergy is a daily challenge and AFAA has helped our family in countless ways - their help is prioeless!
All my life (of 40+ years) I enjoyed eating what I enjoyed, skipping what I didn't, and not worrying about how my food habits affected other people. That all changed when I met three people and got involved with the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Association of Minnesota. First, I met my sister-in-law who has a severe reaction to onions; the second person was a coworker whose lips would grow to the size of circus clowns when she ate certain fruits; the third was a young neighbor boy who has severe allergies to nuts. As a former hotel kitchen worker, I realize now how serious food allergies can be and that everything I touch may result in life or death for persons with severe food allergies. Since a cure is not available for my friends and family, education is key. I volunteer for AFAA to raise the conscience of those who were oblivious like me and don't realize the importance of food safety. AFAA does that through several outreach events, such as a state fair booth, benefit concert and walk, kids and family daycamp, peanut-free MLB ballgame suites and more. I've seen the smile come across a stressed mother's face when she realizes that she is not alone in her struggle to raise a baby with recently discovered severe food allergies to milk. She can get help through AFAA of MN and talk to other parents who have learned with the help of AFAA, to take the fear out of food.