My name is Erin Martinez and I represent Food Equality Initiative, a national nonprofit based in Kansas City, fighting for nutrition security and health equity for all. I am writing to ask that the Governor please support $1.3M in HB 3002 for asthma and allergy equipment and training for all of Missouri’s public schools.
Having access to proper asthma and allergy equipment and training in schools is imperative and can even help save lives. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America- St. Louis Chapter (AAFA-STL) is the best equipped, organized, and well-networked organization to carry out this training. AAFA-STL will ensure the best equipment is made accessible and the best training is conducted. AAFA-STL has the ability to provide the necessary training so that school nurses and personnel will be able to intervene when an asthmatic episode occurs. Those with asthma may have food allergies which could lead to an asthma attack. The number of children with food allergies in each classroom currently averages about 2 per classroom.
According to AAFA-STL, asthma is the number 1 reason children are hospitalized in St. Louis. Having the trained staff and proper equipment and medication available to quickly administer breathing assistance can be the difference between an interruption in the school day and a trip to the hospital.
On average each school that AAFA-STL works with would receive about $600 worth of equipment. We all know that equipment without training is not worth much. So, AAFA-STL is committed to training personnel at the schools where supplies are made available. AAFA-STL has been a reputable resource for asthma and allergy education and support in the community for over 40 years.
Entrusting AAFA-STL with funding to help school children across Missouri and to save the state
money in medical costs due to asthma is a move forward in childhood health and wellness.