Save Me For Gluten Free
CCA launches new community-based gluten-free food initiative in time for the holiday season
December 10, 2020
This year the holiday season will be more challenging than ever before with more people finding themselves food insecure. For people who have celiac disease, the issue is even more acute because of the difficulty of getting access to safe gluten-free food. Too often, when a person visits a food bank or agency, they are given food that they cannot consume. In addition, when gluten-free food is donated, except for some noted cases below, it is often bundled in with all of the other gluten-filled products and handed out to anyone, not just those who need it. It is simply due to a lack of awareness and understanding among the general population and volunteers who work at food banks. It is a waste of donated resources and time for everyone. CCA is hoping with help from the gluten-free community that we can bridge this gap and help people who often fall through the cracks.
This holiday season with the launch of its annual Holiday Survival Guide, CCA is urging the gluten-free community to support its own by shopping for gluten-free items and donating them to a local food bank in a way that the food will be saved for them in a campaign called, Save Me For Gluten-Free (#SaveMe4GlutenFree). This year’s guide is filled with additional resources because of this year’s unique challenges.
It’s Easy to Help – as long as you know how to shop for gluten-free food!
Watch this video or follow the steps below!
- Step 1: Purchase non-perishable gluten-free food items from your local or online grocery retailer.
- Look for foods that carry the CCA Gluten-free Certification Program mark or get some ideas with our GF Pantry List – Click here.
- Step 2: Download and print our ‘SAVE ME FOR GLUTEN FREE” decals and message for the food bank and adhere to your bag.
- Click here for English decal. Cliquez sur francais
- Print off the ones you ‘d like to use either colour or black and white, one page, two-up if you have more than one bag to donate. Just print and cut.
- Download and print messages for the food bank and the recipient.
- Step 3: Take to your local food bank or put in your grocery retailer collection bin.
- Scroll down this page to see a list of food banks that offer gluten-free food already or help educate new food banks in your neighbourhood.
- Step 4: Tell us what you donated and where so we can track our impact. Click here for the anonymous survey: https://forms.gle/sDgEM4kyhsuPpoBV9
- Bonus step! SHARE! Snap a photo of your labelled bag or purchases and share on social using hashtag #SaveMe4GlutenFree and tag @CCAceliac so we can thank you for your advocacy efforts to raise awareness.
For people with celiac disease, gluten-free food is a MUST, not a lifestyle choice. For these individuals, even the smallest amount of gluten can damage their small intestines and cause a chain reaction within their bodies as it creates an autoimmune response which overtime can cause lasting damage and serious health implications.
Food Banks List and Agency Support
CCA and it’s independent chapter organizations are pleased to offer this list of local food banks and agencies across Canada to identify locations that are able to provide with confidence gluten-free food to those in need. Please check with the agency on services provided and verify ability to provide gluten free as the ability to provide food may change daily or weekly.
If you are a food bank that is offering gluten-free food and would like to be added to this growing list, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal support for gluten free (Updated May 7)
Increased funding is available to food banks and other agencies to help support the purchase of gluten-free foods. Please consult with the Government of Canada website: here.
Resources for Food Banks
- Food Labelling Guidelines to assist food banks to better serve the community. Please click here to request.
- Self Advocacy Tips – Check here for how to self-advocate when approaching a food bank or service.
- CCA-Approved Gluten-Free Box – Download our recommended list of certificed gluten-free products and sample brands – CCA GF Pantry List
Donating Gluten-free Food to Food Banks
When donating gluten-free food to a food bank, ask in advance if the food will be set aside or saved for families or individuals who require this special dietary food. In some cases, GF food is mixed in with other foods or staff may not understand how food labelling works for those with special diets. If they are unable to guarantee GF food, please encourage them to reach out to CCA for assistance with education, resources and suppliers.
Click below for a list of food banks offering gluten-free food.
Food Banks offering gluten-free food(Updated Spring 2020)