For those of you already shopping for someone with a medical condition such as celiac disease, food allergies, galactosemia or on the autism spectrum, you’re probably here because you feel the value of the special diet community in your life. Let’s reach out to include those in our community who are relying on food pantry assistance. Next time you’re shopping, just grab an extra peanut-free sunflower seed spread or rice milk or gluten free flour mix or whatever other specialty item you rely on. Think of what matters in your own kitchen, and we’ll help you get your favorite Safe Staples into the kitchen of someone who really needs them. It’s easy, I promise. And it will matter so much.
I think it’s safe to say that food pantry guests are at a vulnerable point in their lives. In the midst of rebuilding, feeling hopeful and comforted and worthy matter. Being fed matters. Feeling safe matters. For a food pantry guest on a special diet, safe alternative pantry staples mean they can adapt their family recipes to include those they love. They can celebrate their child with birthday cake. They can share community through food. Safe Staples will nourish more than just their bellies.
The Safe Staples program is designed to provide food pantry guests on a special or restricted diet, the alternative food staples their diets require. There is so much room for this program to grow, but let’s start simple. This process helps you donate allergy-friendly/gluten free staples to any food pantry or in any food drive bin, without fear of the specialty items getting lost among the other donations, ensuring food pantry guests with food allergies, celiac disease and other medical conditions get the safe staples they need.
1. Shop for allergy-friendly or gluten free alternatives just like you would for a traditional food drive. Don’t worry about the size of your donation. Every bit helps. Our facebook page will have suggestions if you are unfamiliar. *If you are a specialty food company, welcome! Let’s talk. (firstname.lastname@example.org) This could be awesome.
2. Print out these two sheets; the Safe Staples Bag Tag and Sign for Pantry. Page one is a note to the food pantry staff explaining your donation and asking it to be put aside for guests on special diets. Since many guests would never expect these products to be at a food pantry, many won’t self-identify. Page two is a sign for the pantry to post so families will know these specialty products are available upon request.
3. Securely attach the two sheets to your bagged or boxed donation.
4. Drop it off at any food drive or directly at the pantry itself.
Please help get the word out. Visit our Facebook page, “Like” it and “Share” it with friends and familiy or forward this post to family and friends. These two things are very important as they keep you in the loop down the road. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading. If you haven’t read my thoughts behind this cause, you can read it here. I promise you, this will make a big difference in the lives of those guests with food allergies, celiac disease, and other medical conditions requiring special diets.