Monday, February 23, 2009

Gluten-free help in hard times

For anyone who has not checked out the News Flash on Gluten-Free Living's website, I wanted to be sure you find out about a smart, made-for-the moment program being set up by a celiac support group in Florida.

The Palm Beach County Support Group has a new food-assistance program that can help those who are facing hard economic times. Anyone in South Florida who has celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis and meets federal poverty guidelines can apply to receive a $25 monthly voucher to help with the high cost of gluten-free food.

President Phyllis Kessler said the current economy and worry about people who have lost their jobs prompted the group to start the program. She said the $25 should help cover the cost of a few essentials, like bread and cereal.

When I talked to Phyllis Friday she was a little concerned that word of the program wasn't spreading and that lack of applicants could stall it. Right now the support group can fund 30 participants and hopes to double that next year.

In a time when we are all looking for ways to help those in need or ways to cope with being in need, this is one of the best ideas I've heard about in the celiac community. People need help with the cost of gluten-free food and this program gets it to them quickly and simply.

So if you are reading this, spread the word. Help Phyllis and the rest of her group step up and help someone who is in a tough situation. And wouldn't it be great if other support groups all across the country could do something similar?

For details and contact info, go to Then blog about it, twitter about it, put it on Facebook. We keep reading about how well social networks work so let's put them work doing some good.


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