Food Equality Initiative, Inc.

Improving health and ending hunger

aka FEI   |   Kansas City, MO   |  https://foodequalityinitiative.org

Mission

To improve health and end hunger in low income patients diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease through access to safe and healthy foods, nutrition education, and advocacy.

Ruling year info

2014

Founder and CEO

Mrs. Emily Brown

Main address

300 E. 39th St. Suite 3O

Kansas City, MO 64111 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-2377396

NTEE code info

Nutrition Programs (K40)

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The need for access to “free-from” food in the management of both food allergy and celiac disease. Both conditions are "diet-treated" and access to appropriate foods is critical to maintaining​ or improving health.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Allergy Friendly and Gluten Free Nutrition Assistance Program

The Allergy Friendly and Gluten Free Nutrition Assistance Program (AFGFNAP) is our flagship program. In 2015, we established the nation's first allergy-friendly and gluten-free food pantry. The pantry utilized a "pantry-with-in-a-pantry" model to reduce start-up cost and create access to existing programming. The prescription based program connects low-income patients diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease to the foods they need to adhere to their prescribed diets to improve their health. The only requirement is to provide an Rx Diet Order from a doctor's office and meet income eligibility. In 2018 we began to pilot "Pantry Product Vouchers"(PPV), which gave clients an opportunity to access foods in retail markets in their community.

Population(s) Served

The Nutrition Education program seeks to educate clients and the community on how to prepare healthy "free-from" meals.  Currently, recipes and nutrition education materials are provided at Food Equality Initiative food pantries.  In the Spring of 2019, Food Equality Initiative became a Community Rotation site for the Kansas University Medical Center's Dietetic Internship Program.  With the additional support of the dietetic interns, Food Equality Initiative has been able to increase branded nutrition materials and recipes. In the future, the program will include classes and nutrition counseling from a registered dietician.

Population(s) Served

Food Equality Initiative's work began in advocacy to amend the WIC food packages. The Research and Advocacy program continues to pursue access in federal nutrition programs and food as a covered benefit with both managed care and commercial insurance. Food Equality Initiative is the national expert on the intersection of food allergies and food insecurity. The Research and Advocacy program allows the organization to leverage the work of the Allergy Friendly and Gluten Free Nutrition Assistance Program to publish papers and expand the healthy food access to include more than fresh fruits and vegetables.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Nonprofit Connect of Greater Kansas City 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Estimated dollar value of food donations distributed to community feedings programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total pounds of food rescued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to ensure all patients with food allergies and celiac disease,  regardless of their social economic status and location, have access to the healthy foods they need to improve or maintain their health. The work has primarily focused on access and systems changes in the emergency food system, we seek to create access in the retail market and federal nutrition programs.

In 2019, Food Equality Initiative seeks to make a pivot from being only a direct service provider, but to position our work around providing education and technical assistance to set standards for "free-from" access in the emergency food system. We will also continue our work to amend federal nutrition programs and build support for food as a covered benefit to bring access to retail markets. In the fall of 2018, we partnered with Children's Mercy and Kansas University Medical Center to form a research science alliance to better evaluate our program as the first nutrition intervention for food allergies and celiac disease. Food Equality Initiative collaborates with local and national nonprofits, government agencies, health providers, and national brands to serve clients.

Food Equality Initiative is uniquely positioned to execute our mission. Leadership is comprised of experts with lived experience and content knowledge experts. Founder and CEO Emily Brown created the organization after experiencing a gap in our safety net system as a mother of sick children with food allergies. The organization also maintains a Medical Advisory Board (MAB) comprised of dieticians, nurses, and physicians from local hospitals and clinics. The MAB guides all of the healthcare-related aspects of the organization. The Board of Directors is diverse and is lead by food industry leaders, distinguished professors, and finance and marketing executives.

Although we have made significant progress in access to healthy "free-from" foods in Kansas City, barriers still remain. As the organization grows capacity, we would like to explore additional modes of distribution to make a larger impact in the region. We're proud of the small changes we've made in the WIC program but would like to see more options available for individuals in federal nutrition programs. We will continue to collect data and build strong coalitions to advocate for systems changes.

Financials

Food Equality Initiative, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Food Equality Initiative, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 5/6/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

HIlary Kass

Hilary's Eat Well

Term: 2018 - 2019


Board co-chair

Lydia Butler

Bradford Warner

Agspring

Cheryl Coon

Johnson County Community College

Winnie Dunn

The University of Missouri

Leigh Wagner

Kansas University Medical Center

Linda Berry

Kansas City Kansas Public Schools

John Thompson

Kenberk

Sally Everhart

Wadell and Reed

Rachel Ciordas

The Merc Coop

Scott Akeson

Christian Broadcast Network

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No