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Paying It (Gluten Free) Forward

January 15, 2014
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By Beth Hillson

One of my goals for 2014 is to give back to the gluten-free community.  Truthfully, I’ve been doing that for a long time, mostly as president of the American Celiac Disease Alliance which advocates for celiac patients and consumers.  Our crowning achievement was working with the FDA to get them to finish the gluten-free labeling rule – – a gift to all of us.  Glutino is one of our members and was very helpful in these efforts.

But, this year I’d like to do something locally too.  I want to help people who need gluten-free food but cannot afford this expensive diet on their own.  So I’ve contacted FoodShare, the organization that supplies most of the pantries in my area.

I started a dialog with FoodShare just after Thanksgiving.  At first it was hard for them to imagine reaching people on a less-than-truckload basis.   Whew.  I wanted to make a difference, but “truckloads.”  That was more than I could imagine.  And I didn’t think there would be that many people in need of gluten-free food in this area.  Then we explored the possibility of my dealing directly with the families.  Whew, again.  That could become a full time job and I might need a warehouse to boot.  But, neither my contact, a wonderful young man, or myself was ready to give up.  Just after New Year’s he sent me a survey that went to 130 pantries in the area.  The responses are coming in and already many had pantries say they have families in need of gluten-free food.

And talk about serendipity.  At the same time, my friend Dee Valdez from Gluten-Free Dee and Dee’s gluten-free pantry called to ask for help through the Alliance.  Have I got a plan for you, I told Dee.  She’s a pro at furnishing pantries with gluten-free foods.  I think we might have a beautiful friendship budding, Dee, me, and the FoodShare folks.

I’ll share more details as this project progresses.  Perhaps some of you will want to set up a similar project in your area.  Or, maybe you’ve already worked with local pantries.  If so, share your ideas.

This original article is made possible by Glutino. As a pioneer in the gluten-free industry since 1983, Glutino is committed to creating the best tasting gluten-free foods and gluten-free snacks for you and your family that are not only safe but delicious. Whether it’s a gluten-free recipe, support resource, wellness event, Glutino coupon, or a new way to look at the world around you, we hope to help and inspire you be at your very best. Live gluten free. Live fully!

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