WHO WE ARE.
Founder & CEO
Being allergic to multiple foods, I have navigated a marketplace where the assurance of “allergen-free” often carries a subtle postscript—not affordable and difficult to find. When the pandemic struck, I could not imagine how more disadvantaged food allergy households were accessing safe food staples. In response to my challenges in grocery stores and an immediate need in my local Connecticut food pantries, I launched SSF.
University of Pennsylvania
Director of Communications
I joined SSF at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed to me the deep-seated social inequalities that afflict my different communities—including my food-allergic community. This global crisis coincided with my transition into adulthood, and spurred in me a desire to both found and become a part of initiatives that better the world I am maturing into.
My advocacy highlights have included lobbying on Capitol Hill for the FASTER Act and sharing my story at various conferences. Being a part of such a driven, powerful community inspires me to speak out for change.
Ten years later, I’m still a work in progress; I still find myself struggling in public spaces to map out food options that are not cross-contaminated. Knowing my past obstacles, I feel connected to SSF’s mission of advocacy, education, and accessibility, as well as female empowerment.
Social Media Manager
I first became interested in fighting food insecurity as a volunteer for an NYC community fridge initiative. Through this experience, I became acutely aware of the issue and its impact on people's lives. As someone who has a gluten allergy, I understand how important it is to have safe and nutritious food options available.
Hearing from pantry visitors that Securing Safe Food’s work is filling a key void in the food pantry sector, leading to more equity within the system, has added tremendous value to my life. I strongly believe that alleviating hunger in this country will depend on a shift in mindset, one that zooms in to the individual level and focuses on ensuring that every person is able to access foods that are personally, uniquely safe for them.
University of Vermont
Head Food Pantry Coordinator
As the second member of my family to have food allergies, finding safe food at a grocery store was not new to my family. After growing older and questioning the price differences between allergy-friendly products and their regular equivalents, I become more involved in food allergy awareness. I am grateful to be a part of this group of women banding together to help others.
On my own trips to the grocery store, I spend a lot of time going through the ingredients and allergy statement of each product and deciding if I would feel safe eating it or not. I have food products and companies that I know I can rely on and purchase almost every trip. Customers of food pantries don’t often have the option to fall back upon a company they trust.
Compliance & Development Associate
I am allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, shellfish, and sweet potatoes. Although I’ve been allergic to these foods my whole life, I only started advocating at the beginning of my junior year when I realized my allergies were a source of strength instead of a burden.
University of Michigan
Director of Donor Relations
Growing up with a laundry list of food allergies, I have experienced firsthand challenges with finding safe food in public places. I quickly learned the negative implications of having food allergies as a result of the lack of education on food allergy safety and the ambiguity of food labeling. I am proud to be apart of an all-women team at SSF that understands the gravity of managing a food allergy and promotes equity in the food bank system at large.
William Peace University
Director of Outreach & Onboarding
I was born allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, and eggs. In early high school I was diagnosed with an intestinal disorder that further limits my diet. These experiences have made me passionate about raising awareness surrounding food allergies and have given me a unique perspective on the role food plays in our culture.
Having severe allergies has prevented me from doing so many things, such as flying on a plane or attending summer camp, but I am privileged enough to have access to foods that are safe for me to eat. I decided to join SSF in my freshman year of high school after taking a class on food insecurity and learning what a problem it was in not just my local area, but all over the United States.
Food Pantry Coordinator
I am one of three family members to have a food allergy. I’m passionate about spreading more awareness about food allergies, so that allergen-free options become more common in more diverse settings. I’m motivated to keep my family members and other community members with food allergies safe!