Volunteering with FEI

Volunteer 2019-08-09T15:30:33-06:00

IN THE PANTRY

ON THE BOARD

IN THE OFFICE

VOLUNTEERS OF FEI

MEET ABBY

My name is Abby Malloy, and I’m a dietetics student at the University of Central Missouri. I volunteer at the Food Equality Initiative to gain real world experience. I write fact sheets and compile recipes that provide the people that go to the food pantry with any information that they may need, as well as different ways of using ingredients that are offered. With FEI I have the opportunity better myself by helping others.

MEET ABBY

My name is Abby Malloy, and I’m a dietetics student at the University of Central Missouri. I volunteer at the Food Equality Initiative to gain real world experience. I write fact sheets and compile recipes that provide the people that go to the food pantry with any information that they may need, as well as different ways of using ingredients that are offered. With FEI I have the opportunity better myself by helping others.

MEET AMELIA

My name is Amelia Richard and I am an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. I have worked with FEI for a few years on and off as the art director and graphic designer. I really believe that food is our medicine.

My sister has severe ADHD and she is able to have a normal life because she has changed her diet and has found what foods affect her in both negative and positive ways. I am intolerant to milk, soy, and high fructose corn syrup. I also have ADD, anxiety and depression. What I eat really affects my ability to function and live a normal life. If I eat the wrong thing I can either be ill for several days or mentally unable to function. Eating healthy for those with special diet needs can be so hard financially and with trying to find where those foods are available. …read more

MEET BRIT

Volunteering at the FEI pantry is a wonderful way to support the community. A pantry focused on individuals and families with food allergies and Celiac disease is such a unique idea, but at the same time it is desperately needed. When I found out my son was not able to eat dairy, it was an eye opening experience to monitor every snack and meal and to re-learn how to cook and bake without dairy. I consider myself lucky to be able to contribute to such a dynamic and budding organization, and everyone I have met, including volunteers, recipients, and Emily, have been kind, supportive, and appreciative.

MEET BRIT

Volunteering at the FEI pantry is a wonderful way to support the community. A pantry focused on individuals and families with food allergies and Celiac disease is such a unique idea, but at the same time it is desperately needed. When I found out my son was not able to eat dairy, it was an eye opening experience to monitor every snack and meal and to re-learn how to cook and bake without dairy. I consider myself lucky to be able to contribute to such a dynamic and budding organization, and everyone I have met, including volunteers, recipients, and Emily, have been kind, supportive, and appreciative.

MEET GAIL

I started volunteering with FEI nearly 2 years ago when the first pantry was being set up.  I saw something online about the work they were doing and was really excited about it so I sent an email and asked if there was anything I could do to help out.  It wasn’t long before I was assembling shelves and stacking them with food in preparation for their first clients.

I was motivated by the nature of the organization.  My daughters and I have celiac disease and I know how overwhelming the initial diagnosis can be.  Although the disease is more common now than it was when we were diagnosed 13 years ago, there are many aspects of being gluten free that can very difficult. Just having consistent access to safe gluten free food is a problem for many people who do not live near a grocery store that stocks gluten free foods.  It’s heartbreaking to see the financial burden that many families face once they realize how much more expensive gluten …read more

MEET LINDSEY

I have been an FEI intern since February 2017 and have already had several experiences that don’t compare to my clinical hours as a dietetics student. I have had the opportunity to work with professionals, clients, and many community members to spread awareness and educate others about food allergies and food insecurity. My time at FEI provides not only clinical dietetics experience, but experience with advocacy, social networking influence, and community organization. I volunteer at FEI because I am passionate about medical nutrition and the well being of others in my community. I have been given a chance to serve others and to be a part of something that’s bigger than myself. Volunteering truly is a gift that doesn’t stop giving.

MEET LINDSEY

I have been an FEI intern since February 2017 and have already had several experiences that don’t compare to my clinical hours as a dietetics student. I have had the opportunity to work with professionals, clients, and many community members to spread awareness and educate others about food allergies and food insecurity. My time at FEI provides not only clinical dietetics experience, but experience with advocacy, social networking influence, and community organization. I volunteer at FEI because I am passionate about medical nutrition and the well being of others in my community. I have been given a chance to serve others and to be a part of something that’s bigger than myself. Volunteering truly is a gift that doesn’t stop giving.

MEET LORI

I started working with Emily Brown at the end of January 2017 to establish a road map for Nutrition Education and Nutrition projects.  I know firsthand how difficult adapting to food allergies can be.  My onsite of food allergies did not start until the age of 31.  At first my reactions were limited to egg white, pineapple and tomatoes.  Then about 6 months later my list grew to include: dairy, egg yolk, wheat, peppers and strawberries.  I was shocked to find the increased food expense to accommodate my allergies and nutrition needs.  My husband and I had to relearn how to cook and find new recipes that were suited for my food allergies.  I’m proud to say my wonderful husband has master the art of reading food labels and can spot items that I’m allergic to without having to call me.  I still smile thinking about the first time he came home from the grocery store and told me what items were not purchased because of the food label.  The road to understanding food allergies and relearning to cook can be challenging.  That is one of many reasons I’m excited to offer one-on-one Food Allergy sessions to clients of the pantry starting in May.  I have a passion for providing clients with information that empowers them to take charge of their health.

MEET MARISSA

I started volunteering with FEI in Fall 2015 by joining the medical advisory board.  I was interested in FEI, because I am training to become an allergist and I am interested in learning more about food allergies.  My previous medical training focused on preventive medicine with children, so this has been a great opportunity to help kids learn about their allergies and how to prevent food-induced allergic reactions.  As part of the medical advisory board, we assist with identifying qualified patients from the medical perspective.  We also look at ways to collaborate with local medical institutions.  I am always amazed by the passion and enthusiasm of all the FEI volunteers including the medical advisory board members.  Everyone is dedicated to providing allergy-friendly food options for the underserved population, which is exciting to be a part of.  I look forward to helping FEI become more established in our Kansas City metro and across the nation as the model for future allergy-friendly food pantries.

MEET MARISSA

I started volunteering with FEI in Fall 2015 by joining the medical advisory board.  I was interested in FEI, because I am training to become an allergist and I am interested in learning more about food allergies.  My previous medical training focused on preventive medicine with children, so this has been a great opportunity to help kids learn about their allergies and how to prevent food-induced allergic reactions.  As part of the medical advisory board, we assist with identifying qualified patients from the medical perspective.  We also look at ways to collaborate with local medical institutions.  I am always amazed by the passion and enthusiasm of all the FEI volunteers including the medical advisory board members.  Everyone is dedicated to providing allergy-friendly food options for the underserved population, which is exciting to be a part of.  I look forward to helping FEI become more established in our Kansas City metro and across the nation as the model for future allergy-friendly food pantries.

MEET ROBERT

I volunteer as a Board Member of FEI because living with food allergies is very personal to me. When I was diagnosed with allergies to soy, dairy, and gluten sensitivity as an adult my quality of life changed literally overnight. Most of my life I had endured chronic GI issues and being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and no medication ever gave me the relief I needed. There are more people with food allergies and have no idea that a change in their food consumption will improve their health. FEI responds to this lack of awareness through their advocacy and coalition-building. As a grassroots organization that is firmly rooted in addressing the food security issues many working class and low-income families must face when they are newly diagnosed with Celiac disease or a food allergy, FEI is a trailblazer and innovator and I am passionate about supporting this engagement to increase access and create accommodations for our nation’s most medical nutritional at-risk families.