May 5, 2023

New webinar: Becoming a food allergy advocate!

Some patients with food allergy, and their caregivers, are frustrated by the lack of awareness, of safeguarding rules and of resources for those affected by this disease.

Many people find it to be useful and therapeutic to channel these observations and frustrations into lobbying for practical measures that make life better for the food allergy community.

In a new Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center webinar, we hear from two families who have used their experiences with food allergy to drive meaningful policy changes at the local, state and federal levels, despite having no prior experience in activism and advocacy.

From better signage at playgrounds to organizing support groups to federal legislation, our guests have prompted significant changes – and they have tips and advice for other families who want to get involved.

Our panel, moderated by food allergy-informed social worker Kim Menzel, includes:

•Jill Mindlin, a practicing finance attorney in New York City. She has co-led a support group and has been advocating on a local, state and federal level to help people with food allergies since her daughter – who is anaphylactic to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and sesame, was born 22 years ago.

•Stacey Saiontz, a University of Michigan graduate who has served on the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center Advisory Board since 2019. She is an advocate for food allergy awareness and was named one of the Top 100 Women in Food Allergies. Ms. Saiontz has helped to spearhead the passage of several pieces of local, state and federal legislation that protect those living with food allergies.

•Jared Saiontz, a high school freshman, who was born with 26 anaphylactic allergies. He has helped advocate for the passage of several pieces of local, state and federal legislation, including a law that allows school bus drivers to administer epinephrine, a self-carry law, a law that allows schools to stock epinephrine, the FASTER Act, and the Westchester County Food Allergy Restaurant Safety bill. Additionally, he founded “Pack the Pantry for Everyone,” a non-profit that helps tackle hunger for food insecure families with food allergies. 

View the webinar here, at the Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center YouTube channel.