Hi there! We’re here again with another edition of our blog series, “On the Road with RDs,” where we invite you to follow along with our Dietitians as they visit venues, teach communities, and continue their education in the wide world of nutrition. This time, we’re joining our Director of Nutrition, Lesley Vogel, who recently partnered with Brandon Jacobs, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at The Shipley School in Pennsylvania. As a team, they presented at the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) conference at National Harbor in Maryland.
At SAGE, we’re incredibly proud of our approach to food allergies. We take them very seriously and make safety the top priority for all our students. But we also know that students with food allergies can face challenges beyond choosing safe food. Well-intentioned policies to keep students safe can leave them feeling excluded, which can lead to feelings of isolation and anxiety. Students with food allergies are commonly bullied because of their allergy. That’s why our policies center on inclusive dining practices for all.
To share this important message, I teamed up with Brandon Jacobs from The Shipley School. In early November, we traveled to the D.C. area to participate in and speak at the FARE Contains: Courage® Summit. With more than 1,000 teens and adults in attendance, this conference addressed many of the topics that affect people with food allergies on a daily basis. These included everything from dating to recipe development, navigating accommodation laws, and governmental advocacy.
Brandon and I delivered a powerful 45-minute session, titled “Ensuring Safety and Inclusion While Paving the Way to Independence,” to a packed room. Attendees asked us great questions, which sparked positive conversations. We had a long line of people asking more questions and telling us their stories privately at the end of our presentation.
It’s really rewarding to discuss the positive impact that SAGE’s approach to managing food allergies has had on students. It resonated with so many attendees and provided them with strategies to take to their schools. And as a bonus, I got to attend the entire conference. I sampled great top allergen-free foods at socials and during breaks. I heard top doctors and other professionals speak about the advances in managing, treating, and eventually curing food allergies once and for all!