“Our mission is to increase health and end hunger for individuals with Celiac disease and food allergies by providing safe, healthy food, nutrition education and advocacy.”
Why We Exist
Food Equality Initiative, Inc. (FEI) is a recognized non-profit, public benefit corporation established in 2014 by Emily Brown and Amy Goode, to support the low-income food allergy and Celiac communities by providing safe, healthy gluten free and allergy friendly food, nutrition education and advocacy. Local hospitals, doctors, nutritionists, school officials and moms, have all told us that our services are needed. Through the hard work of the executive team and FEI volunteers, we will be bringing not only food, but also health to those we serve.
To provide allergy friendly and gluten free food to low-income people diagnosed with food allergies or Celiac disease
To provide education regarding the nutritional gaps that can occur when restricting certain foods, and the detrimental nutritional effects of untreated Celiac disease
To educate on the health benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables and making access to these foods possible
To be a voice for low-income individuals who qualify for government assitance but due to their medical condition cannot take full advantage of the program
Who We are Helping
Using U.S. Census numbers and recent research by Dr. Robert A. Wood of Johns Hopkins University, we estimate that 10,000 people in our area have low income and have a diagnosis of Celiac disease or food allergies. That’s 10,000 individuals, mostly children, who are suffering the ill effects of not being able to afford gluten free or allergy friendly food. Untreated Celiac disease can lead to Diabetes, Failure to Thrive, Malnourishment and even Cancer. Untreated food allergies can cause serious health conditions and even death. Both conditions leave the individual unable to fully enjoy life because they feel ill most of the time.
Who We Work With
Food Equality Initiative collaborates with hospitals, physicians, dietitians, schools, support groups, government agencies, Harvesters, Feeding America and many more to find ways to help our clients. FEI is registered with GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information.
Chief Executive Officer
Emily Brown is the Founder of FEI. Her responsibilities include the strategic direction and growth of the organization, WIC advocacy and the educational aspects of FEI. As a former preschool teacher, she empathizes with the importance of being knowledgeable about your medical condition(s), and how to advocate for those with these condition(s).
Without her family’s struggles with multiple food allergies, FEI
Kwesi joined FEI as a volunteer when our food pantry opened. Her background in medicine ties very well with the needs of the organization. As the Medical liaison Kwesi assists in collaboration between the health care professionals and our services, Advocacy and Client Education. As she works with the community daily she understands.
Sheila Walker joined the FEI in July of 2016. She is passionate and excited to be a part of the team. Sheila brings a varied background in finance, military service and experience on nonprofit boards. Although not personally impacted by food allergies or Celiac disease, Sheila understands the seriousness of these conditions and works to provide resources to families in our community.
Christina Ciaccio, MD, MSc.
Dr. Christina Ciaccio MD, MSc is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Chicago and serves as the Clinical Director of the Food Allergy Program. Dr. Ciaccio served for 7 years as a faculty member in the Divisions of Allergy/Immunology at Children’s Mercy where she received two Golden Apple Awards for Teaching and Mentorship.
Uzoma Ikonne, PhD.
Dr. Ikonne received his Bachelor’s Degree in Neuroscience from Baylor University and his Doctorate in Biomedical Sciences from the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at The University of North Texas Health Science Center. While at The University of North Texas, Dr. Ikonne focused on examining the relationship between brain aging, mitochondrial dysfunction, and oxidative stress.
Jan DeMoure is a nursing student pursuing a BSN while raising three children with severe food allergies. She cares for three boys who have had life-threatening reactions to eggs, milk, peanuts, and tree-nuts as well as one who has Celiac and eosinophilic esophagitis. She has experienced the financial stress of trying to provide gluten-free, allergy friendly food and has been blessed greatly by Food Equality Initiative.
Robert A. Lee
Board Vice President
Robert Lee holds a Master of Public Communication from American University in Washington, DC. He is a Gulf Coast native, a follower of conscious communications and intentional diversity, a Chi Gong practitioner, a gluten-free vegan, a Saints and Braves fans, and a desire to write the next Great American Novel.