Foods that are gluten free and allergy friendly are 2-4 times more expensive than the typical grocery items and almost impossible to find in local food pantries. No one knows this better than Claire* who has celiac disease and other food intolerances. She receives a modest $15 per month in FSP (Food Supplement Program) benefits to aid her in purchasing gluten free and allergy friendly food. Step into Claire’s shoes and experience what it is like to choose between hunger and eating something that will make her ill.
Claire is now able to find gluten-free food at the Howard County Food Bank during her monthly visits thanks to generous donors like you. “It used to be next to impossible to find safe food at the Food Bank. I would leave there with a small bag of items and go home to bare cupboards, while other people left with grocery carts full of food. Then, I would have to wait another month to return to see if there was anything I could eat. I am grateful for S.A.F.E. Food Pantry since I can now find food that works for me. S.A.F.E. is a real blessing for me.”
Financial contributions help people like Claire obtain the gluten free and allergy friendly food that they need to thrive. Help us assist more clients with gluten free and allergy friendly food with a donation today.
* Client name changed to protect privacy
In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry is hosting a gluten free and allergy friendly food drive at the Giant Food, 6050 Daybreak Circle, Clarksville, MD on Saturday, May 6 from 10AM-1PM. We are accepting nonperishable food donations for our dedicated shelf space at the Howard County Food Bank. We also appreciate monetary donations as they provide us with funding to purchase necessary items.
Another option for donating food is through our basket program where we do the shopping for you. Help families in need who struggle with food allergies, celiac disease, and similar health issues eat safely by purchasing gluten free and allergy friendly food baskets:
$10 Gluten Free Pasta Meal
• Nature’s Promise Gluten Free Pasta
• Schar Gluten Free Rolls
• Francesco Rinaldi’s Zesty Tomato Sauce
$10 Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly Sides
• 3 Giant Canned Vegetables
• Giant Applesauce
• Schar Gluten Free Rolls
$20 Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly Sides Deluxe
• 6 Giant Canned Vegetables
• Giant Brown Rice
• Giant Dried Beans
• Giant Applesauce
• Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread Mix
• Giant Coconut Oil
• Nature’s Promise Dairy Free Milk
Please indicate in the comments which basket(s) you would like to donate.
Keep in mind that One Dish Cuisine, located in Ellicott City, is a permanent food collection point during their business hours. Look for the sealed, plastic tote in the front of the café.
Our clients and we appreciate your generosity!
As an all-volunteer organization, SAFE could not accomplish its mission without those of you who volunteer time, attention and effort to perform all the necessary functions to serve our clients. Know that everything you do - helping with administrative work, collecting food items, communicating with the public – contributes to the strength and vitality of the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry. Our clients just know that they are able to get food that allows them to stay healthy. We at SAFE know that is possible because of you. Thank you for being the driving force behind SAFE. We could not do it without you!
If you haven't joined our volunteer team yet, it's not too late! We just posted different opportunities on The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County for your consideration or visit our Volunteer page for general information.
Would you like to help our clients by sponsoring a food drive at your workplace? We will make it very easy for you. You will get all the information you need to propose the idea, organize the food drive, and collect gluten free, allergy friendly food items.
All you have to do is contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you the information by email – ready for you to use – and work with you every step of the way. Our clients will appreciate anything you can do for them and so will we!
When this organization was in the planning stages, I started to realize the importance of an effective team to go from vision to reality. I consider myself incredibly blessed to have met an amazing group of people who are part of our Board of Directors and Advisory Council. On this Volunteer Appreciation Week, I would like to introduce you to our volunteer team.
The first person outside of my family who believed in the S.A.F.E. Food Pantry was Maureen from One Dish Cuisine. Her enthusiasm for the mission propelled me into starting the organization. Although she is incredibly busy with the café and unable to serve on the Board of Directors, she is a valuable member of our Advisory Council guiding us as we work toward opening our first physical location.
Maureen introduced to me to June, who serves as our Board Secretary. June is dedicated to our mission and worked with me to build our Board of Directors. She is my rock, and I greatly appreciate her sage advice.
Then, June introduced me to Melissa, who serves as our Board Treasurer. Melissa is not afraid of a challenge as she has tackled our nonprofit accounting and bookkeeping. She is currently on leave from the organization due to the birth of her first child.
Soon after Melissa, Margo joined the Board of Directors. Margo has contagious enthusiasm and passion for our mission. She is the chairperson for our first Food Drive, which will occur in early May.
Libby was the next to join the team as a Director. Libby is super creative and has a lot of great ideas. She was chairperson for our first #GivingTuesday campaign in December and is serving as chairperson for our presence at the Community Health Fair in June.
In January we added two additional people, Sandra and Michael, to the Board making us the “Super Seven.” Sandra has an unbelievable number of community connections and a strong passion for serving the community. She is chairperson for our Client Support committee.
Michael has a personal connection to our mission and again has great enthusiasm for building the organization. He is currently serving as Interim Treasurer while Melissa is on leave.
Another important member of our volunteer team is Emily, who serves on our Advisory Council. Emily has a strong background in project management and helped us complete our first strategic plan. She will be working with us to implement our plan.
The S.A.F.E. Food Pantry would not be where it is today within the dedication and countless hours of these volunteers. A simple thank you does not fully express the deep gratitude I have for this team. We look forward to adding new volunteers to our organization soon and hope you will consider joining us as we provide gluten free and allergy friendly food to those in need.
P.S. I must also mention my husband, Allan, who puts up with my long hours and is willing to help behind the scenes. His love and support are endless, and I would be unable to do this without him by my side.
The S.A.F.E. Food Pantry is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization based in Howard County, Maryland.