FOODiversity is fighting, alongside Food Equality Initiative, to improve the health and quality of lives for those at the intersection of food insecurity and food allergy and/or celiac disease. 

What is FOODiversity?

At the core of FOODiversity’s mission is bringing nationally-available programs and educational materials to local communities across the U.S. 

Works directly with:

  • backpack meal programs,
  • colleges,
  • dietitians,
  • food pantries,
  • healthcare systems,
  • homeless shelters,
  • physicians,
  • school systems,
  • social workers,
  • and other community nonprofits and emergency food providers. 

By directing organizations to FEI, FAACT, FARE, and other proven food allergy and celiac disease resources, FOODiversity supports these resources as they implement sustainable solutions, for their patients or clients, to increase access to safe food. Through its grant program, FOODiversity also reinforces organizations’ efforts with funding assistance. 

Portrait of Wendy Pake

Partnership with Food Equality Initiative

The founding of FOODiversity was inspired by Food Equality Initiative’s 2020 Juneteenth webinar, “A Conversation about Race and Food Allergy.” Hearing about the lack of access to safe food, quality healthcare, and food allergy information that Emily Brown described served as a “Call to Action” for Wendy Gordon Pake, FOODiversity Founder. 

Wendy Pake, founder of FOODiversity
Wendy Pake, founder of FOODiversity

“I was already very interested in the issues surrounding FOODiversity\’s mission (hence my signing up for the webinar). Emily, and the other panelists, made me realize the tremendous gap in access. So, I put together the business plan for FOODiversity.” 

FOODiversity is a combination of Food and Diversity, reflecting two key values of the organization: to feed people – per each person’s individualized diet needs – the exact foods necessary for good health.

FOODiversity joined FEI’s Seven Percent Fund & Coalition to learn and to make a difference, wishing to add its voice to the collective voice of support for FEI’s mission.

The Strategy

A key strategy of FOODiversity is the marketing of FEI’s Direct-to-Client food delivery service. Examples might include:

  • giving a presentation to a healthcare system’s “Food Insecurity Initiative” Working Group,
  • creating a flier about a local food allergy support group for distribution,
  • or providing information about FEI to backpack programs and food pantries for them to share with their families who manage food allergies or celiac disease. 

FOODiversity tracks success by the number of FEI-registered clients who say they “heard about FEI through FOODiversity.” FOODiversity considers its “FEI mission” accomplished when FEI accepts the referred individual as a client and they start to navigate the road to food security. To amplify its commitment to FEI’s mission, FOODiversity also assists in the funding of FEI services. Most recently, this includes the states of Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

FOODiversity is a recognized IRS 501(c)(3) organization, operating as Carolina FOODiversity in N.C. and S.C., and also assisting clients nationwide. 

For additional information, connect with Wendy on LinkedIn, email her at wpake@carolinafoodiversity.org,  or “Like/Follow” FOODiversity on Facebook or Twitter.

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