How Does Your Teal Garden Grow?


by Caroline Moassessi, FAACT’s Vice President of Community Relations

As spring arrives, lawns turn green and flowers blossom. Digging into our gardens feels good as we renew our spirit, plant seeds, and get our bodies moving. We also head to home improvement stores to fix broken fences beaten down from harsh winter storms.

Have you ever noticed that spring feels a little like our teal food allergy life? We refresh and renew our spirit and awareness with Food Allergy Awareness Week/Month. We renew accommodations for the upcoming year, and we guide our students through the college accommodation process. We plan summer travel and gently help family and friends refresh their food allergy educations. We look at what isn’t working to build new pathways to solutions.

FAACT invites you to join us as we inspire each other and re-invigorate our communities to learn more about food allergies and how to make the world a safer place for everyone. Let’s explore a few powerful actions and activities you can take to awaken your teal spirit.

K-12 School Accommodations. Now is the perfect time to schedule your meetings with the school nurse and/or your district’s 504 coordinator to establish plans for next school year. Consider including your age-appropriate student in the meeting. For older students, invite them to take the lead where appropriate to help them develop confidence in speaking up for their needs. Refresh your knowledge and explore FAACT’s Accommodations in Schools webpage to pick up tips, facts, sample letter templates, and information about 504 plans.

College Admissions and Accommodations. While this time is exciting, it can also be nerve wracking. Waiting until the last minute to establish accommodations may result in frustration, unwanted stress, and a lack of resources available to the student. Guide your student through confirming housing, dining service, class, lab, athletic, and club accommodations; socializing; and planning for emergencies, whether they are living on campus or commuting. Visit FAACT’s College Resource Center to download the Admitted Student Checklist designed for the student to use to guide their process and the For Parents/Caregivers Checklist for you. Don’t miss the Legal Considerations section to learn about your student’s rights, including the cost of single dorm rooms, health care proxies, and power of attorney.

Food Allergy Awareness Week and Month. May is our teal time to shine, raise our voices—loudly, quietly, and any way that comes from your heart—to help the world learn more about food allergies. Discover fun and exciting ideas from FAACT on how you and your loved ones can make this year stellar.

FAACT’s theme for Food Allergy Awareness Month is Celebrating TEAL Moments! Let's show the world how we love, include, and support those with food allergies, from the classroom and soccer field to boardrooms and weddings. Inclusion is everywhere and within reach with a little help!

Refresh Everyone’s Knowledge. It’s easy to forget someone’s allergies if you don’t see them often. Spring is a great time to practice with epinephrine device trainers, review when to use epinephrine, and talk about how to read food labels and call manufacturers. Hold a family meeting, Zoom with family and friends, meet with coaches or day care providers to ask how it’s going and offer a refresher. A little knowledge goes a long way—and can save a life!

This is our time to prepare our gardens for success! Your FAACT family is here on the ground (and maybe in the dirt) with you to help you plant your teal garden so you and your family can live beautiful, bright lives with food allergies.