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Imagine a small child walking into the room. Imagine his eyes swollen shut, his nose running, and he’s wheezing. When someone asks what is wrong with the child. The mother explains to them that he suffers from a food allergy and she has to give him Benadryl around the clock.

This is something I refer to as Russian roulette. Please keep in mind, I am not judging the mother (or any parent in this situation). I am just filled with concern. Statistics show that there are upwards of 15 million Americans that suffer from food allergies and approximately 5 million of them are children. It is believed that children who come from wealthy families are more likely to develop an allergy to peanuts or tree nuts. We hear about the organizations and charities that are raising money to research these allergies all the time. But, do you know what we do not hear about? All the families who cannot afford to get an epipen for because their insurance refuses to cover it. Or how about all those families who really do not get enough with food stamps. And how about those families who cannot even get food stamps?

The unfortunate truth is food allergy friendly food is not cheap. There are limitations of what brands and products can be purchased. If you have to add multiple allergies to the mix, things can get even more expensive. An individual with a handful of food allergies can quickly find themselves spending more on grocery than they spend on their rent and utilities combined. Some people have trouble even finding food that they can consume with their allergies.

Now, close your eyes for a minute and think about your grocery needs with your food stamps card. Do you really think the amount you get would be enough to support dietary needs and restrictions if you had them?

If you are an Austin family with food allergies making ends meet with food stamps and interested in sharing budgeting tips/resources.. I’d love to hear from you at sunconnor@gmail.com.