Spreading food allergy awareness with Project Give Back
Project Give Back is a program that teaches grade 4-6 students about how to make a difference in the lives of others. Participating students select a charity of their choice and in the three parts of the program, the students research the charity and present findings to their class, plan and implement a hands-on “FUNraiser” to demonstrate a unique aspect of their charity, and write a letter to the charity outlining their project.
Students, Evan, Madison, Boaz and Sam attend schools in the Toronto area. All chose Food Allergy Canada as their charity for Project Give Back during the 2022/23 school year. Read our interviews with them to learn more about their projects and what they want other kids with food allergy to know.
Why did you choose Food Allergy Canada for your project?
Evan: I have food allergies. Food Allergy Canada helps make a difference by making the world safer. I really like how they educate people and take the initiative to help those with food allergies.
Madison: I can relate to food allergies – having so many of them, like nuts, seeds, dairy and eggs, and having had my EpiPen® used multiple times. I wanted to teach my class about food allergies and how they don’t need to stop me from doing what I enjoy…sometimes I just have to find a safer or different way to do things.
Boaz: I have a food allergy and I know having one can affect people’s lives a lot.
Sam: I have a lot of food allergies and wanted other kids to better understand what Food Allergy Canada does to help people with allergies. It also gave the class a chance to better understand some of the challenges people with food allergies face every day.
What activity did you do to help your classmates better understand food allergy?
Evan: I gave a speech. I wanted to let them know that a lot of different foods can look harmless, but to people with food allergies, they can be life-threatening.
Madison: I chose to do a Google slideshow with lots of information and pictures, a trivia game based on information from the slideshow, and I also showed the class and taught them how to use an EpiPen trainer.
Boaz: I did an activity where each of my classmates at each table got a paper bag with food labels and a paper with a list of what “food allergies” their table has. Each table had to figure out what is safe to eat and what’s not by using the food labels and the food allergies given to them.
Sam: I created a restaurant experience. The students were divided into groups (“tables”) and each table got a menu and had a fictitious person at the table with food allergies. Each group had to decide what to order for their food allergy person based on their specific allergies. This activity showed the class how important it is to show all ingredients on the menu and to ask questions when ordering. I also demonstrated how to use an EpiPen. I used a trainer and the kids thought that was cool.
How did your classmates respond to your activity/presentation?
Evan: My class was impressed with how personal my presentation was and how much I could share about Food Allergy Canada. The kids with food allergies really appreciated my presentation and shared their experiences with having allergies.
Madison: My classmates responded by asking questions about my allergies and the EpiPen. They were fascinated with the EpiPen and how it works.
Boaz: They liked it, and I hope it raised their awareness of food allergies.
Sam: After the activity they understood the importance of labelling and waitstaff training. They also better understood the challenges that can happen at a restaurant.
What would you like other kids with food allergy to know?
Evan: It’s okay to be scared and sometimes I am. But Food Allergy Canada is making the world a lot safer by educating people about food allergies, so there will always be people around to help you if you need it.
Madison: I would want other kids to know that they are not alone and to not let their allergies stop them from participating in activities they enjoy. They also need to learn to advocate and teach others about their allergies.
Boaz: Make sure to always check the label before eating anything! If you feel you are having an allergic reaction, tell someone you trust for help. Make sure to always carry an EpiPen (epinephrine) with you!
Sam: Having allergies can be hard but there are lots of things that can help keep people with allergies safe. The best thing is just understanding more about allergies and how you can support someone.
Thanks Evan, Madison, Boaz and Sam for educating your classmates and raising food allergy awareness at your schools. You are food allergy heroes!
Learn how you can fundraise and support Food Allergy Canada! Visit foodallergycanada.ca/fundraise.
Tags: Food allergy champion, food allergy hero, fundraise, special feature