Food Equality Initiative was recently published in the Journal of Business Research in an article titled Food Access for All: Empowering Innovative Local Infrastructure. The authors of the journal article conducted research all across the United States involving various Social Entrepreneurial Organizations (SEOs) and their work to provide affordable food for low-income families and the impact they have in their local communities.
The article outlines several non-profit organizations that work to provide affordable and healthy food access within their local communities. Food Equality Initiative was featured several times throughout the article as one of the only pantry partners that specialize in providing allergy-friendly food.
A large point in the journal article falls in line with our purpose here at FEI: low-income families are unable to afford nutritious food due to the increasing cost of healthy food. This problem causes these families to turn to cheaper food options—or less nutritious food—which causes their physical and mental health to decline. The likelihood of developing diabetes, along with many other diet preventable illnesses, increases when people experience food insecurity. That aside, it is even more difficult to find affordable and healthy options for individuals with serious food allergies or allergy related illnesses.
“Our pantry model was born out of my own family’s personal experience with food insecurity and allergies. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with allergies to peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, and soy. Then I went to the store and looked at the cost of the food and I could not believe that a loaf of bread could cost $6.99 or the hemp milk that she drank for a while was over $15.00 a gallon. That’s impossible for almost anyone to afford. Our family enrolled in a federal nutrition program to help with grocery bills, but the program did not pay for the allergy-friendly food we needed. I met my food pantry partner at a food allergy support group. Her daughter was the same age as mine and they shared some of the same food allergies. Together, we started the Food Equality Initiative to get these expensive foods to the people who need them.”Emily Brown, Founder of Food Equality Initiative
As one of the few “free-from” allergen food pantry providers, Food Equality Initiative is dedicated to serving the local community to help those in need get the food required to treat their chronic illnesses.
Brown was quoted again in the journal saying, “One of the things we are working on is being a leader; there is a need for awareness of [allergen] impact on food needs everywhere across the nation. I want to create a network of pantries to work together and establish best practices; create a new niche, a new sector within the emergency food industry.”
The journal article also discussed how non-profit organizations focused on helping food insecurity can better market to their clients and members of the community to increase impact and reach to those in need.