Food Equality Initiative, Inc.
11 East 40th Street
Kansas City MO 64111
Food Equality Initiative provides healthy "free-from" foods.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4n3zvEXYC0
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 800-0884
Fax 816- 561-4939
Mission Statement
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.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Emily Brown
Board Chair Hilary Kass
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hilary's Eat Well
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2014
Volunteer Opportunities
Do you have Volunteer Opportunities? Yes
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer Mailing a check, using a credit card online, contributing in-kind food items to the pantry, volunteering at the pantry and in the office.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement 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.
Background Statement

In 2013, a group of mothers of children diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease recognized an unmet need for allergy-friendly and gluten-free products for low-income families. The new collaboration first looked to work within an existing food bank to educate volunteers on sorting gluten-free food for distribution to areas of need. This effort proved to be difficult for food bank volunteers, and they were not able to continue the practice.

In 2014, Food Equality Initiative (FEI) was established with a mission to improve health and end hunger in low-income individuals diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease. FEI uses access to food, advocacy, and education to carry out its mission. FEI is the first organization in the nation to address the need for allergy-friendly foods for low-income individuals.

In a short amount of time, FEI has established itself as a leader in Food Access Advocacy for low-income families with food allergies and celiac disease. In 2014, FEI begin a national campaign to augment WIC food packages to include the purchase of allergen-friendly and gluten-free foods with government assistance. FEI conducted a poster presentation and participated in a discussion panel at the National USDA WIC conference in 2016. The WIC program, which is only evaluated every 10 years, announced minor changes in June 2017; however, there are still significant gaps in services for individuals with food allergy and celiac disease. While the changes were not what FEI had hoped for, the buzz has begun about the need to support people with food allergies. FEI is developing its long-term lobbying plans for the next WIC evaluation and will continue to promote the need for change in federal food assistance programs.


Impact Statement
In the last year, Food Equality Initiative expanded pantry operations and increased enrollment in our nutrition assistance program by 155%. We're also proud that 100% of our clients report having more confidence to prepare safe and healthy meals.
 
This year, our goal is to continue expanding access to healthy gluten free and allergy friendly foods to those who need them most by opening an additional pantry. Our focus is also building organizational capacity to meet the needs of the greater Kansas City area. 
Needs Statement
  • Food Equality Initiative is a serving a growing need in Kansas City and beyond. We need support to build organizational capacity to meet the needs of our community.
  • In 2018 we have expanded pantry operations and need funding for dedicated staff to continue our expansion and pilot new models of distribution that provide clients dignity and access to the foods they need to maintain health.
  •  Volunteers serving in all of our programs and office.
  • Additional partners for food rescue including manufacturers, farmers, grocery stores, and restaurants. 
 
 
Service Categories
Nutrition
Areas of Service
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
KS
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Cass County
MO - Buchanan
MO - Platte County
MO - Liberty
MO - Lafayette
Geographic Area Served Narrative The only organization in our region addressing this need, we have no residential restrictions on our service area. Clients must meet our financial criteria and have a documented medical need for services.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Food Equality Initiative is a local nonprofit working to close the nutrition gap for patients diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease. Our work is changing lives in Kansas City and inspiring communities across the nation. 
 
We're committed to providing resources to ensure all patients can access the nutrition they need to prepare safe and health meals. Creating access is at the core of our work. From the pantry in the emergency setting, to policies impacting access in federal nutrition programs, FEI is leading the movement to provide gluten free and allergy friendly foods to all who need them. 
Programs
Description
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. 
 
 
Program Budget $221,314.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food Distribution
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
Established the nation's first allergy-friendly and gluten-free food pantry 
 
We have distributed over $100,000 of healthy "free-from" foods to low-income patients diagnosed with food allergies and celiac disease. 
 
100% of our clients report more confidence in preparing safe and healthy meals. 
Program Success Monitored By
Program success is monitored by the program committee and board of directors. Clients are surveyed every 12 months.  The survey measures access to food, nutrition education, and access to health care. 
 
We also track the number of items distributed each month and the retail value. 
Examples of Program Success
" A dietician from Children's Mercy Hospital referred me to Food Equality Initiative. Through their services, I am able to feed my son and keep him healthy."
 
 "It has been a lifesaver for my budget! Don't know what I would do without it. I'm a single mom on a very tight budget."
 
"My son is thriving thanks to FEI"
 
" No more gluten reactions!" 
 
 
Description
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. 
Program Budget $28,157.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success Food Equality Initiative provides recipes and disease management materials to pantry clients.
Long-Term Success Food Equality Initiative develops a comprehensive nutrition education program.  The program would include nutrition education materials and classes to teach clients and the community to prepare healthy and affordable "free-from" meals. We'd love to offer nutrition counseling from a registered dietician. 
Program Success Monitored By The program is monitored by the program committee and the board of directors. Clients are surveyed on nutrition education every 12 months.
Examples of Program Success 100% of clients report more confidence in preparing safe and healthy meals.
Description
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. 
Program Budget $26,989.00
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
Food Equality Initiative organized a national comments campaign and presented at the National WIC Associations Annual Conference in 2016. In 2017 the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) review committee concluded that the WIC food packages did not contain a substitute for fish or eggs.
 
In 2017 our Food Impact Chart on Food Allergies was published in the Patient-Centered Care Outcomes in Food Allergy in the July edition of Asthma and Allergy Reports. The food chart shows the cost difference between allergy-friendly foods and allergy containing foods.
 
In 2018 Food Equality Initiative established a science alliance with Children's Mercy Hospital and Kansas University Medical Center to better evaluate our program as a nutrition intervention to improve the quality of life of patients.
Long-Term Success Long term success would include changes to federal nutrition programs that increase access to healthy "free-from" foods. In addition, food would be a covered benefit for "diet-treated" conditions such as food allergies and celiac disease.
Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored by the program committee and the board of directors.
Examples of Program Success The small changes to the WIC food packages are a win for the program. It demonstrates the success of strong coalitions and the power of advocacy.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mrs. Emily Brown
Term Start Feb 2014
Experience

Emily Brown is an expert at turning adversity into opportunity. She is Founder and CEO of Food Equality Initiative, Inc.(FEI), a Kansas nonprofit founded in 2014 to address disparities in access to allergy-friendly foods. Under her leadership, FEI established the nation’s first allergy-friendly and gluten-free food pantry, ReNewed Health in Overland Park, Kansas. In its first year of operation, ReNewed Health Pantry distributed over 12,000 pounds of healthy gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods to families diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac disease with financial need. Since then, FEI has become a leader in the movement to increase access to healthy “free-from” foods and has distributed over $100,000 worth of foods to families in Kansas City.

Not wanting her efforts to simply be a “band-aid” to an increasingly widespread health issue, Emily works to increase education, policy change, and civic engagement to create real systemic change in the fight against access to safe and healthy food. Emily regularly shares her passion and experience as a national speaker under her platform Emily Brown Speaks. Promoting all forms of healthy food accesses including fresh fruits and vegetables, allergy friendly options and breastmilk; the first food.

Active in her community, Emily regularly participates in the Greater KCFood Policy Coalition, is a founding board member of Children’s Mercy Hospital’s (CMH) Food Allergy Family Patient Advisory Council (FAFPAC),CMH Family Advisory Board(FAB), CMH Hunger-Free Hospital Taskforce, and Secretary of the Eugene Ware Elementary PTA.

Emily resides in Kansas City, KS with her family where she enjoys gardening, cooking with love and a good book.

Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 2
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Paid Contractors 1
Volunteers 47
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 1
Caucasian 1
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 3
Male 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Affiliations
AffiliationYear
Nonprofit Connect of Greater Kansas City2019
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Hilary Kass
Company Affiliation Hilary's Eat Well
Term May 2018 to May 2019
Email hilary.kass@gmail.com
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Lydia Butler
Term June 2018 to June 2020
Email lydia.l.butler@gmail.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Scott AkesonChristian Broadcast Network
Ms. Linda BerryKansas City Kansas Public Schools
Mrs. Rachel CiordasThe Merc Coop
Ms. Cheryl CoonJohnson County Community College
Mrs. Winnie DunnThe University of Missouri
Ms. Sally EverhartWadell and Reed
Mr. John ThompsonKenberk
Mrs. Leigh WagnerKansas University Medical Center
Mr. Bradford WarnerAgspring
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Caucasian 9
Native American/American Indian 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 8
Governance
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 60%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 90%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Executive
Finance
Marketing
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Advisory Board Members
NameAffiliation
Dr. Julia BrackenChildren's Mercy Hospital
Dr. Chitra DinakarStanford Medical Center
Dr. Selina GiererKansas University Medical Center
Brandy Holderby MS, RDMARC Head Start
Dr. Bridgette JonesChildren's Mercy Hospital
Dr. Molly KragerChildren's Mercy Hospital
Dr. Marissa LoveKansas University Medical Center
Nahir Mallerquin-Saer BSNStormont Vail Health System
Dr. Nakita RajeTruman Medical Center
Melanie Wade ARNPHeartland Primary Care
Barbara Warady MS, RD
CEO Comments We have a Board of Directors and Medical Advisory Board.
Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $540,310
Projected Expenses $409,120
Audit Documents
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$3,066----
Administration Expense$7,425----
Fundraising Expense$0----
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.74----
Program Expense/Total Expenses29%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$15,748----
Current Assets$15,748----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$2,391----
Total Net Assets$13,357----
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.59----
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%----
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountHealthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City $15,750----
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years No
Organization Comments Food Equality is a relatively new nonprofit. Due to our size and age, we have yet to have an audit. We are scheduled to have our first audit in the summer of 2019. However, our Statement of Activity was prepared by Support Kansas City who is our current fiscal agent.
Other Documents
Organization Name Food Equality Initiative, Inc.
Address 11 East 40th Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Primary Phone (816) 800-0884
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Emily Brown
Board Chair Hilary Kass
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hilary's Eat Well
Year of Incorporation 2014