Buzz Students Shine Light on Food Allergies

Buzz Students Shine Light on Food Allergies
Posted on 06/04/2020
Each year in May, Food Allergy Awareness Week takes place to call attention to this serious public health crisis. Created in 1998 by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, now FARE, Food Allergy Awareness Week celebrates the more than 32 million Americans managing food allergies.

Last month, students at Buzz Aldrin Middle School who represent Start with Hello! took the opportunity to shine a light on food allergies.

PTA Council Wellness Chair Carolyn LaRocca spearheaded the initiative based on personal experience. “It was my own son’s allergy to peanuts and tree nuts that brought my attention to how easy it is for a child to be left out, ignored, humiliated and basically left feeling lonely and unimportant,” she said. “In an attempt to change this for him and all others who battle food allergies, I became an active participant in many food related activities, events and trips. This also exposed me to children who were even more vulnerable than my own son because they had multiple food allergies, making it almost impossible for them to be included at all… but it was not.” She says “all it took were some phone calls, additional label reading and some compassion to know what it would take to make all children with allergies feel included and like they mattered.”

It’s that message that Buzz students are promoting. They have created a presentation acknowledging that living with food allergies takes courage and how education and understanding can make a difference. Students shared their “ingredients” to bring awareness and help empower those with food allergies.

boy holding sign  boy holding sign

Start with Hello! is a program that enables students to make a difference with their peers in a simple, fun, and impactful way by encouraging them to take small but powerful actions to promote connectedness and inclusion, and to identify and help others who are showing signs of social isolation.

"I am thankful to Start with Hello! advisor, Language Arts teacher Jen Kosuda, Principal Jill Sack and district Nursing Supervisor Betty Strauss for recognizing the need to include and support students and their families," she added.

LaRocca hopes the message strikes a chord and that other can learn that simple changes can make all the difference. “I do think acts of kindness can be contagious and showing compassion for others is universal.”
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