From Chris Popek
First Annual Peanut Free Zone Baseball Game Hosted by the Buffalo Bisons!
1 Out of 17 Children Under the Age of 3 Years Suffers From Life Threatening Food Allergies
BUFFALO, NY (May 5th, 2009) - Food Allergy Support Services, Inc., a budding not for profit agency dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by food allergies and elevating awareness and understanding in the community, is celebrating Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW), May 10-16 by promoting several events. Kicking off the week is the first ever Peanut Free Zone game hosted by The Buffalo Bisons! The Bisons will set up the Peanut Free Zone in the 3rd base party suite on Mother's Day, May 10th at 1:05pm. This will be the first Peanut Free Zone for the Bisons ball club, following in the footsteps of many other ball clubs across the country, including the Toronto Blue Jays who have increased the number of Peanut Free Zones mid season due to the overwhelming popularity of the events (www.peanutfreebaseball.com).
Between 1997 & 2007 the prevalence of food allergies in American children under 18 years of age have risen 18%, according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db10.pdf)
“It seems everyone we talk to knows food allergies exist, but they aren't sure what it means,” mentioned Chris Popek, Executive Director of Food Allergy Support Services. “We intend to spread the word through events, publicity and posters hanging at the establishments of our 'Allergy Friendly' supporters.”
On Tuesday evening, May 12th, The Red Robin Restaurant of Orchard Park has agreed to host a Food Allergy Awareness Night. Red Robin is known for their food allergy friendly menus, (http://www.redrobin.com/home/food/allergen-info.aspx) made available to food allergy patrons as they enter the restaurant. Food allergy families are welcome to join in the festivities with a relaxing, “allergy friendly” meal prepared following strict procedures to prevent cross-contamination. Non-food allergy patrons will enjoy the typical Red Robin experience while learning about food allergies in an enjoyable manner.
B is for Books, a bright, cheery, fun bookstore located in the heart of the Village of Orchard Park, (http://www.bis4books.com) offers FREE story times each week and will be featuring Food Allergy friendly stories during FAAW. Thursday mornings at 10:00 am are Toddler story and craft time and Friday evenings at 7:00 pm are bed time stories and crafts. Bed time stories typically feature hot cocoa and cookies, however as an added educational experience Jane's stories will be accompanied by “safe” cookies and juice.
“We would like to give a special thank you to each of the venues supporting us as well as the many people behind the scenes working together to make us a success!” stated Chris Popek. “And we will end the week with our son's food allergy safe 3rd birthday party!”
About Food Allergy Support Services
Food Allergy Support Services is a non-profit organization. It has arisen out of the Popek family's need to expand their world and create awareness for their severely peanut allergic child. They have been learning and navigating food allergies for 2 years, as they learned of Eddie's peanut allergy just after his first birthday when they handed him a cracker with peanut butter. Throughout this experience they have met many food allergy families with the same story and the same concerns for every day life. Chris Popek began a food allergy website www.CleanOutThePantry.org on Halloween 2008, with food allergy families Chad & Deb Stewart, as a compilation of their knowledge of living in the food allergy world. They have recently been featured in the Buffalo News to spread further awareness through the media (http://www.buffalonews.com/185/story/632305.html)