More than eighty children with personal stories of the challenges of managing food allergies spoke to their elected representatives and rallied for improved education and funding for food allergies during the third Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network’s (FAAN) Kids’ Congress on Capitol Hill last week.
These Junior Ambassadors, speaking from their hearts, proudly represented the estimated 12 million Americans, including 3 million children, in the U.S. with food allergy, a potentially life-threatening condition. During the two-day event, children from all over the nation met with U.S. senators and representatives to urge funding for food allergy research and the passage of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Management Act (FAAMA). FAAMA calls for voluntary national guidelines for food allergy management in schools and provides for incentive grants to implement these policies. The children also attended a Food Allergy Awareness Rally on Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. where they thanked food allergy leaders for their efforts.
“This event served not only to give these children a wonderful opportunity to advocate on behalf of those with food allergies, but to convey to lawmakers the importance of supporting legislation that will make our schools safer,” said FAAN CEO Julia Bradsher. “It is also our hope that legislators, once hearing about the experiences of these children firsthand, are compelled to support funding for food allergy research.”
This is the third time for the FAAN Kids’ Congress on Capitol Hill, which was held Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The children ranged in age from 6 to 18 and came from 23 states around the country.
“It's been tough in school for me. I know the bill would help prevent some of the other kids with food allergies from having the same experiences I have. A lot of people don't know how to deal with food allergies and this would set guidelines for them to follow,” said Chris Giuliano, age 13, from Salem, N.H. Chris attended the FAAN Kids' Congress on Capitol Hill last week and is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and other foods.
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network