We believe inclusive food support starts local.
OUR FOOD PANTRY PROGRAM.
“Allergen-avoidant” is an umbrella term that encompasses all individuals who avoid common allergens, such as milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, sesame, fish, shellfish, and wheat. SSF supplies U.S. food pantries with supplemental food staples for allergen-avoidant families, including nondairy products, sunflower seed butter, baking mixes, gluten-free breads, and snacks.
Some households avoid the common allergens for strictly ideological, religious, or preference-based reasons, but SSF-provided foods are intended for pantry visitors with medical dietary restrictions. Examples are food allergies, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Recognizing the higher rates of food allergies among Hispanic, Black, and Asian communities, SSF is also conscious of the importance of culturally responsive allergen-friendly choices, such as cassava and masa flours, rice noodles, millet, and beans. That means continually assessing our partners’ needs and adapting our food packages in response. We acknowledge that a cultural staple such as legumes may be safe for one individual and trigger a severe reaction in another.
PARTNER WITH ALLERGEN-FREE BRANDS
We facilitate food donations from leading and emerging manufacturers in the allergen-friendly industry, catalyzing social impact by creating opportunities for these businesses to contribute to food equity.
SSF volunteers manage food deliveries from start to finish, ensuring food pantries stay in the loop with minimal burden on their staff. By acting as the intermediary in manufacturer communications, we let food programs focus on safely feeding their clients.
DISTRIBUTE TO OUR NETWORK OF PANTRIES
Allergen-friendly manufacturers ship foods directly to pantry sites. We serve approximately 30 food pantries in 4 geographical regions, including New England and New York, Greater Chicago, the Southeast, and the West Coast.
ENCOURAGE TRACKING OF DIETARY NEEDS
Data on visitors’ dietary conditions and demographics helps us tailor our food shipments to accommodate their needs on an individual and community level. We offer our affiliated pantries survey and tracking tools.
PROVIDE ACCESSIBLE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Easily readable posters, flyers, and QR codes in Spanish and English are key materials in making our resources accessible to pantry visitors. Having tools available in language that more people understand maximizes our impact.
FOOD ALLERGY EDUCATION.
By sending food and engaging pantry staff, we go beyond filling plates. When our pantry partners request shelf-stable and refrigerated allergen-friendly products, we co-deliver educational resources and allergy training. These combined efforts help us reach the vulnerable communities whose health and safety depends on avoiding commonly allergenic foods.
All SSF pantry partners pledge to keep our foods separated and best targeted for visitors with food allergies and medical dietary conditions. Our training emphasizes separate grouping of specialty allergen-friendly foods, kept in their original packaging to prevent cross-contact with other allergens and make sure visitors can read ingredient statements.
Technology and high-speed Internet usage can be proxies for socioeconomic status and related food security. But this association is an imperfect one. For example, most participants in the federally subsidized Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) report using the Internet via mobile phones.
Our food notification system capitalizes on Internet resources for deeper impact and community engagement, enabling food pantry visitors with technology access to leave feedback and receive alerts when allergen-friendly foods arrive in their local pantries. Text and email notifications help visitors plan productive trips to their pantry and limit transportation costs.
SUPPORT OUR PROGRAMS
The cost of fulfilling pantry requests surpasses our funding. Your donations help us provide food-allergic and allergen-avoidant households with the safe and nutritionally sufficient foods they require.