With Winter Storm Jonas and #Blizzard2016 behind us, it serves as a reminder of the importance of community. We learn to work together to help neighbors shovel snow from their driveway or perhaps provide a warm meal to a person living alone who cannot manage the slippery roads to drive. It is by working together that we build a better and stronger community.
We at the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry are also working to build community. We are looking to reach out to other like-minded organizations to work in harmony with one another. This is where you can help. If you have any contacts with nonprofit organizations, places of worship, or community groups that could benefit from knowing about the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry, please help us make those connections. Or, perhaps you know someone in need who requires gluten free and allergy friendly food. Please let us know with an email introduction or a connection through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
Until we have our own physical location, it is through these connections that we can strengthen our community and create a safer, gluten free and allergy friendly tomorrow.
by June Ramey and Kristine Dzagan
As you may have discovered, allergens can hide in the most unlikely places, and even products that have been safe before, can have changes in formula. Products often have fillers that are common allergens, such as soy. I admit that there are times when I feel bewildered by ingredient lists. I mean, why is a chemical sweetener (sorbitol) a necessary ingredient in shaving cream?
If your allergies are not severe, you may think a little bit won’t hurt you, or if you don’t break out in a rash, there’s no problem. But the truth is, you may not know what it’s doing to your body. Many of the effects of allergens can be subtle, but reactions may intensify with multiple symptoms that may leave you back at square one. It’s best to be safe and read all labels.
Be especially cognizant of anything that can be absorbed sublingually. When a substance is placed under your tongue, it diffuses through mucous membranes and absorbs into the vast capillary system. As a result, the substance has a fairly direct route into your bloodstream. (Connelly. Why We Take Medicines Under Our Tongue)
This is not an inclusive list by any means, but only meant to jog your brain to think in terms of your own lifestyle, and places you might not have thought to look for allergens.
• Suntan lotion
• Shaving cream
• Hair conditioner
• Hair coloring
• Perm solutions
• Facial cleansers
• Moisturizing lotions
• Foundational makeup
• Eye shadows
• Lash conditioners/thickeners
• Polishing agents dental hygienists use (insist on knowing--most agents have gluten)
• Body wash
• Hair spray
• Household detergents including dish soap
• Prescription medications (ask your pharmacist to see the inactive ingredients)
• Generic drugs as opposed to brand name drugs
• The hard coating encasing pills
• Ingredients used to make gel caps for capsules
• Lotion used in ultrasound (ask in advance and insist on knowing)
• Nonstick cooking sprays
• Natural flavorings (that obscure listing at the end of ingredients that can be anything)
• Products you’ve always been able to trust before (because formulas change without notice to the public)
• Laundry detergent
• Fabric softener
• Dryer sheets
• Moist flushable wipes
• Toilet paper
• Anything that goes on your body, in your body, or can be inhaled
Connelly, Thomas P., D.D.S. printed in The Huffington Post February 18, 2011 08:38 AM. Why We Take Medicines Under Our Tongue. Retrieved January 22, 2013, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thomas-p-connelly-dds/medicine-in-the-body-_b_823530.html
From Celiac Creations For Multiple Food Allergies: How To Survive When Your Food Is Killing You by June Ramey and Kristine Dzagan. Ms. Ramey serves as Secretary for the Board of Directors of the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry.
2015 has been an amazing year as the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry volunteers worked behind the scenes to build a strong nonprofit organization. We are looking forward to an incredible 2016 with new programs and partnerships.
Our volunteers are the heart of the organization. The time that they so generously donate gives us the ability to help others without the administrative expenses. Our Board of Directors, Advisory Council members, and specialized volunteers provide countless hours to propel this organization to the next level.
Another key part of our organization is the donors. This year we have be blessed with generous donations from businesses and individuals who believe in our mission. Our donors are spotlighted in the Donor Hall of Fame.
Although we have made good progress this year, it will take a lot more to open our first gluten free and allergy friendly food pantry in 2016. Please stay tuned as we continue to seek volunteers, contributors, and donors in this new year and make some awesome things happen in our community.
The S.A.F.E. Food Pantry is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization based in Howard County, Maryland.