Upwards of 32 million Americans, including about 6 million children, are affected by food allergies.
And although the effects can be life-threatening, the affliction is sometimes overlooked by well-meaning friends, family and food service workers who serve allergens to sufferers.
That’s why Bryan fourth-grader Brendan Roberts wrote to Mayor Carrie Schlade, asking her to officially proclaim this week, May 12-18, as Food Allergy Awareness Week in the city of Bryan, to “help educate restaurants, schools and the residents of our city” about this condition.
On Tuesday, Schlade obliged and issued an official proclamation, with Roberts present, in city council chambers.
According to the proclamation, food allergies appear to be increasing in prevalence among children, amounting to two students in an average classroom.
Eight types of food account for 90 percent of all food allergy reactions: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, wheat, soy, fish and shellfish. For Roberts, “peanuts are the big one.”
The youngster urged residents to keep in mind potential allergens when offering food to others, especially around Halloween, when candies made with peanuts are omnipresent.
This week is recognized across the country as Food Allergy Awareness Week. For more information, visit foodallergyawareness.org.