Good-Bye, Summer


Summer and Lori

Hello FAF Friends,
Well, folks, Summer is sadly coming to an end in more ways than one for us this year. I know that I speak for everyone when I say that we are so thankful to Summer for starting this group and for all of her dedication over the years. FAF of St. Johns has done some important things under Summer’s leadership. To give just a few examples, Summer has helped educate many people in our community about food allergy management and treatment with training and appearing on local television shows, she has chaired multiple FARE walks to raise awareness and money for food allergy research and education, she has organized and participated in various symposiums and other events for members, she has learned all about our community’s schools and physicians in order to provide guidance and leadership to us in so many different ways and, she has done all of this while managing challenging food allergies in her own family. When she created FAF of St. Johns, she created something special. We are the only food allergy support group in our area. We are recognized by FARE and by local physicians as an organized, respected and professional group. We have repeatedly received monetary grants from FARE based upon Summer’s plans and proposals. Although we will continue to benefit from her participation in our private Facebook group, Summer’s in-person presence will be undoubtedly be missed. Thank you, Summer, for all you have done to create this wonderful group. You have given us a place to learn, share and build lasting relationships with food allergy families and relevant professionals in our community. Your important place as the founding leader of this group will always be respected and cherished.

Looking ahead, we have some exciting things in store this year. We are in the process of implementing plans that Summer and I prepared earlier this year. Fall and Winter are particularly busy seasons! In October, we have the FARE Walk, we will host a food free booth at Healthy Halloween Jax, and we will also have a family and food allergy friendly activity to celebrate Halloween. During the winter holidays, we will have more family and food allergy friendly activities that will allow us to celebrate the holidays in a way that is not food focused – which is such a refreshing change from what we are used to during those food-filled months! Lastly, we are in the process of selecting a time and place to “Meet the Docs” – which will give us a chance to meet and ask questions of local allergists in an informal setting.

The last announcement is really a testament to Summer and the success of our group under her leadership. I am so excited to announce that we are changing our name from Food Allergy Families of St. Johns County to Food Allergy Families of Northeast Florida! As Summer and I discussed earlier this year, the new name better reflects the breadth of our membership and the broader Florida community that we welcome and serve. You will soon see that change reflected across our group. Thanks again to Summer and to all of you for contributing to the growth and success of our group. I look forward to all that is to come for us.

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August 18, 2016 · 11:07 am

Food Allergy Friendly Shopping


Please join us as we learn about the foods available to us at Whole Foods. We’ll have a scavenger hunt, informational session, samples and socializing! Register at

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Join the 2016 FARE Walk!


We are busy planning the 2016 FARE Walk for Food Allergy in Jacksonville, anticipating a wonderful event for family and friends!

Save the date for Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016!

You can find more information here.

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Easter Egg Hunting without Worries


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March 7, 2016 · 3:55 pm

Local Teen with Celiac’s Hosts Food Allergy Day Camp

A local teenager with Celiac’s Disease is organizing and hosting a day camp for kids (and their friends) with food allergies. The event will focus on nutrition and cooking and staying safe from allergens.

FA Day Camp

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Food Allergies and Intolerances The Focus of Symposium

The Jacksonville Food Allergy Symposium brought together the best minds on food allergy research and management. On October 17 at Florida State College at Jacksonville, we heard from Drs. Joshi and Buckley and Trish Gavanker.

Symposium JoshiSymposium Trish

symposium flyer, pic

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Multi Oral Immunotherapy Clinical Trials Across the Nation

Dr. Nadeau image

You may have heard about Dr. Nadeau’s reasearch and clinical trials at Stanford University. They are testing how the drug Xolair works to improve safety and efficacy of multi oral immunotherapy.  A 2013 New York Times article discusses the clinical trial and Dr. Kari Nadeau.  The next stage of the clinical trials is to be conducted around the country and possibly in Florida.

“Once completed, the published results from the Clinical 2 trials should increase the access of the therapies developed by Dr. Nadeau and her team, allowing individuals to potentially receive these treatments at their local allergists and help with insurance reimbursements. This is immensely important and will have a huge impact to bring this type of therapy to the world in a real-time, tangible way.”(As stated on Dr. Nadeau’s fundraising site.

If you are interested in possibly participating in stage 2 of the clinical trials if they were in Florida, please email food allergy mom Taryn Weinstock at with your child’s name, DOB, and a contact number.

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The Teal Pumpkin Project is Here Locally!

Want to become involved in FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project, but don’t have the time to paint a pumpkin teal? One of our members is making the reusable pumpkins and selling them for $15-$20 and donating some of the profits to FARE. Email Madelen Salter at for more information or place an order on or

halloween teal pumpkins, madelen

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Let’s Make Halloween Less Scary for Food-Allergic Children

There are many reasons that Halloween can be scary for children – goblins hiding in the dark, frightening ghost stories, and food allergens in their candy bag.

With one in 13 children with a food allergy, many of the kids coming to your door reciting “trick or treat” will be allergic to some of the goodies you hand out. FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) developed the Teal Pumpkin Project to encourage families to hand out some non-food items to children with food allergies.  Non-food treats can include glow sticks, pencils/pens/markers, stickers, bubbles, erasers, mini slinkees, bouncy balls, bookmarks, and spider rings sold at dollar stores, Amazon, and Oriental Trading.


Communities across the nation have embraced the idea of promoting awareness of food allergies this Halloween by offering a safe alternative to those with food allergies (such as in New York, Virginia, and Ohio). Join the millions of people learning about this campaign here. (FARE’s first Facebook post reached more than 2.7 million people in the first 72 hours and CNN covered the story this week.)

Other ways to keep any children in your household with food allergies safer is to do an “exchange” on your doorstep of the candy they received from trick-or-treating for non-food treats or candies you know are safe for your children. One of our members found candy corn sold at Fresh Market on San Jose Blvd in Mandarin that is made in a peanut-free facility.

Halloween candy, nut free optionHalloween candy, nut free option2

In addition, the following online resources list candy that are free of the top 8 allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, shellfish, fish). However, always read food labels and contact the manufacturer if you have further questions.

Pinterest board by Allergy Cookie

Food Allergy Feast Halloween blog, October 13, 2014 post

Kids with Food Allergies Easter candy blog

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TV Segment Focuses on Food Allergy Awareness

This morning, Andrea Miller and Summer Pachman, of Food Allergy Families of St. Johns, appeared on Jacksonville’s First Coast Living news show.  We aimed to teach the viewers that food allergies is a rising health concern in the U.S. and is not to be confused with food intolerances or sensitivities. Reactions to a food allergy can be life-threatening.

Keeping individuals with food allergies safe, especially the  5.9 million U.S. children with food allergies, by avoiding their allergens can be accomplished with due diligence – including reading ingredient labels closely and hand washing after eating. Ingredient labels can be confusing (such as the two jars of organic chicken stock and conventional chicken stock made by the same manufacturer pictured below with one jar containing milk and one not containing milk).









In addition, hand washing and use of hand wipes after eating can remove food proteins, however, hand sanitizer does not.

Alternative food products are available to avoid the most common allergens, including non-dairy milks and alternative peanut butter spreads.












The upcoming events are occurring in Jacksonville – the Jacksonville Food Allergy Symposium, October 4, 9:30am, University of North Florida and the FARE Walk for Food Allergy, November 22, 10:00am, Nocatee Park.

Symposium flyer jpeg003Walk Flyer002

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