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NY Times: Families With Food Allergies Struggle With Bare Shelves

  • By Riverside Communications

As the coronavirus spreads and locked-down communities stock up, products needed by allergy sufferers are increasingly hard to come by.


Scant offerings at a grocery store in Brooklyn last month.Credit…Sarah Blesener for The New York Times

By Eric Athas

Like many Americans these days, Lisa M. Delmont is kept up at night by worry. But for Ms. Delmont, it’s the empty grocery store shelves that bring on dread.

Her 2-year-old son, Benjamin, is severely allergic to milk, eggs, cashews, pistachios and bananas, so she has to be judicious about the items she brings home. Exposure to the wrong food could send Benjamin into anaphylactic shock, something that has happened three times since he was born.

“I am way more terrified of taking him to an E.R. now than I’ve ever been,” said Ms. Delmont, 35, of Jacksonville, N.C.

The rush to stock up on food in response to the coronavirus pandemic has put an extra strain on the millions of Americans with food allergies who were already restricted in what they can safely eat.

Ms. Delmont, a part-time registered nurse, has gone to great lengths to find products that won’t cause a reaction, researching ingredients, emailing manufacturers and cooking meals from scratch. Without access to certain brands — Ms. Delmont said her local store was sold out of many foods — her options are more limited than ever.

For now, Benjamin will have to eat a lot of beans. “They might not be the most exciting of meals,” she said, “but they won’t kill him, either.”

Ms. Delmont isn’t the only one hunting far and wide for harmless foods.

After the pandemic began to spread in the United States, Kelley D. Lord, of Orlando, Fla., wasn’t able to find the brand of pasta she makes for her 12-year-old son, Mason, who is allergic to eggs. She asked a friend — who lives nearly 400 miles away in Columbus, Ga. — to check out a nearby shop. The friend found the pasta, confirmed it was the right one in a text message, and shipped it to Ms. Lord.

“It’s so scary when your child has an allergy, because it’s literally a life-or-death situation,” said Ms. Lord, 50, who runs a travel agency and is herself allergic to peanuts and onions. “You can’t substitute something else.”

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, grocery shopping was stressful for people with food allergies. The federal government requires companies to tell consumers when particular ingredients are used. If something is made with one of eight types of foods — milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, wheat, soybeans and tree nuts — the company must declare it on the label.

This alerts people to potentially dangerous ingredients, but not all allergens are on that list. In addition, companies sometimes need to warn consumers about possible “cross-contact” with allergens, telling them that something “may contain” peanuts, which can create more confusion.

Alicia M. Ames, of Elbridge, N.Y., said her 4-year-old son, Jackson, is allergic to sesame, eggs, peanuts and legumes. Sesame is not part of the Food and Drug Administration’s labeling law, and its presence is sometimes hidden under obscure descriptions like “natural flavors” or “spices.”

More than one million children and adults are estimated to have a sesame allergy, and the F.D.A. is considering adding it to the list of allergens that manufacturers must include on packages.

Ms. Ames bakes her own bread, but her supplies of safe flour and yeast are running low. “Our worry is that these foods aren’t going to be available, and what are we going to feed our family?” said Ms. Ames, 32, a musician.

Her unease is shared by others across the country.

Recently, Elana D. Zimmerman put on gloves and a mask and ventured out to many grocery stores in her neighborhood on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She did it again the next day. And the day after that. Ms. Zimmerman, 36, has a 1-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son, both with severe allergies.

Laura C. Schorn, of Aurora, Colo., has been going to stores at various times in the day, hoping to catch a lucky break and arrive after a restock. Ms. Schorn, who has an intolerance to wheat and soy, said she has left stores crying, feeling defeated.

“My fear right now is less that I’m going to get the virus and more that if I do get it and I become quarantined, I’m not going to have enough food to get through it,” said Ms. Schorn, 25, who works as a supervisor at a restaurant chain.

On a recent Sunday, Eric J. Payne, of Hollis, Maine, found himself staring at empty store shelves. His 3-year-old son, Elijah, is allergic to dairy, egg, cashews and pistachios. Produce and meat were almost entirely gone. Flour was completely sold out.

“The hoarding is the concern for us,” said Mr. Payne, 33, a marine biologist whose wife, Kimberly, also has food allergies. “Be mindful of others. Be mindful of the allergy kids.”

Some companies that cater to people with dietary restrictions are feeling the crush of demand.

Oatly, a Swedish oat milk company that has expanded its presence in the United States in recent years, has seen purchase orders and requests from retailers “increase by orders of magnitude,” said Mike F. Messersmith, the president of Oatly’s North America operations.

To meet the surge, Mr. Messersmith said, the company has made more of its products available on its website and is keeping its facility in Millville, N.J., running during the coronavirus crisis.

Other companies said that demand has been sharply higher than usual — including MadeGood, which specializes in granola, cookies and other foods free of several allergens, and King Arthur Flour, which makes a gluten-free flour.

Lisa G. Gable, the chief executive of Food Allergy Research & Education, a nonprofit organization in McLean, Va., is concerned about the diminishing options. She is calling on shoppers to consider those with food allergies when filling their grocery carts.

“Be aware of that as you’re pulling these things off the shelves,” Ms. Gable said. “The ability to substitute food is something that keeps them alive and healthy and out of emergency rooms.”



CBC News: Seeing green: $25K for greenhouse means more fresh produce in Inuvik

  • By Riverside Communications

Grant is partnership between Community Food Centres Canada and MadeGood food company

By Mackenzie Scott


Ray Solotki, the executive director of the Inuvik Community Greenhouse, says that they’re feeling ‘a little bit lost,’ when it comes to how to ship the greenhouses to Tuktoyaktuk and Ulukhaktok. ‘There’s got to be some sort of solution. This isn’t our field.’ (Mackenzie Scott/CBC)

The Inuvik Community Greenhouse has received a $25-thousand grant that will allow the organization to provide even more fresh vegetables for residents while its doors remain closed to the public due to COVID-19.

The grant comes from Community Food Centres Canada, which recently received a donation from the food company MadeGood.

“We are able to use [the grant] to help subsidize people to get fresh food from the greenhouse,” said Ray Solotki, executive director of the community greenhouse in Inuvik.

April is usually the time when members of the community greenhouse begin filling their plots with soil. But due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s going to be a very different season at the greenhouse, organizers say. It’s going to be closed to the public for the time being, but still offer options for Inuvik residents to get local produce.

Workers will grow vegetables for you

One of the new options for members of the greenhouse will let them still have plots this year without having to go to the garden and do the work.

Members can pay the greenhouse a flat amount — normally a plot costs $75, this year it’s $150 — and Solotki and her team will take it from there.

“We’ll work the plot, plant the plot and as the food is available it will be harvested and brought to your home once a week,” said Solotki.

Originally Solotki thought she would be the only employee for the greenhouse, but because of the funding they were able to hire four part-time employees that will make it possible to grow more food in the building.

Subsidizing veggie box program

The rest of the money from the grant will go toward expanding the veggie box program so even more families can have access to fresh food this year.

Solotki said they are able to fully or partially subsidize veggie boxes for families if they can’t afford it at this time.

“People confidentially can say, ‘Hey, I can’t afford this right now. What can I do?’ And I can say, ‘OK, here’s our options,'” said Solotki.

“We are a community greenhouse and we need to take care of each other.”

She said so far 25 families have signed up for veggie boxes, with eight of them subsidized. Solotki says they plan on being able to provide 50 veggie boxes this year.

It is with community support that we are able to offer options to our community.
– Ray Solotki, Inuvik community greenhouse

“Basically we are going to turn the rest of the greenhouse into a huge market-share program. So we are going to plant vegetables … and send out a questionnaire …I want people to have the food that they want to have,” said Solotki.

The greenhouse still wants to encourage people to garden, so people can also get planter gardens from the organization.

Solotki says all of this is made possible not only because of the grant, but because of the support from trucking company Manitoulin Transport.

“Manitoulin stepped up and gave us 6,000 lbs of supplies delivered for free. And they have been storing it for us for free,” said Solotki.

“It is with community support that we are able to offer options to our community members to feel a little bit more secure as to where their food is coming from.”



Two Chicago Non-Profit Organizations Receive Nearly $100,000 in Combined Support From MadeGood Foods to Aid in COVID-19 Relief Efforts

  • By Riverside Communications

I Grow Chicago and Marillac St. Vincent will use funds to enhance programming in underserved Chicagoland neighborhoods

TORONTO, April 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — MadeGood®, the leading allergy-friendly and nutrient-rich granola snack creators, has pledged nearly $100,000 in combined support to I Grow Chicago and Marillac St. Vincent, two Chicagoland non-profit organizations providing essential services and relief programs to underserved neighborhoods throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation will go towards minimizing food insecurity concerns, as well as ensuring continued eldercare and mental health support for Chicagoans in need.

“In these uncertain times, we remain committed to our core values of leaving the world a better place than we found it,” said Nima Fotovat, President, Riverside Natural Foods, manufacturers of MadeGood. “We are fortunate to be in a position where we are able to support two noteworthy organizations that continue to provide essential human services for those in need throughout the city of Chicago.”

“If in doubt, love” is the motto for I Grow Chicago, an organization creating a culture of hope while serving the Englewood community, one that is most vulnerable especially in this time. Of the approximately 3,000 people they serve, 73% do not have steady jobs, 62% do not have reliable access to the internet, 59% are food insecure, 41% do not have health insurance, 17% do not have a bed to sleep in and 15% do not have access to running water.

Marillac St. Vincent’s vision is to end the cycle of poverty. The organization offers comprehensive, multi-generational human services to upwards of 20,000 Chicagoans in underserved communities. 96% of families they serve qualify for childcare assistance, 100% qualify for free school lunch and many live paycheck to paycheck.

About MadeGood Foods

Canadian-based MadeGood® is dedicated to providing healthy snacks that are rich in nutrients, allergen friendly and minimally processed. All MadeGood products contain wholesome organic ingredients that are ethically sourced. Also, proud to be a certified B Corporation and part of a group of for-profit companies, certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. MadeGood is made in a Zero Waste certified facility. MadeGood® is a good choice for your health, your family’s health and the planet’s health. Trust in something good. For more details, visit and follow on Instagram and Facebook @madegoodfoods


Emerald-Jane Hunter



Candy & Snack Today: MadeGood Adds Cookie, Soft-Baked Bar Varieties To Line

  • By Riverside Communications


Riverside Natural Foods Ltd. is extending the MadeGood soft-baked mini cookies line with the debut of Red Velvet, No Nut Butter and Snickerdoodle varieties. According to the company, the cookies feature a full serving of veggies, are certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO and kosher parve. In addition, all MadeGood products are produced in a dedicated nut-free facility and are free of the top eight allergens – peanut, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, sesame and shellfish. The product is available in 4.25-ounce boxes that hold five 0.85-ounce portion packs. Each box has a SRP range of $3.99 to $4.99.

The company is also launching GoodTo Go Soft Baked Bars that contain low net carbs (three to four grams per bar), low sugar (one to two grams per bar), 13 grams of plant-based fats and five to six grams of protein. The bars are vegan, gluten- and peanut-free, kosher, keto-friendly and non-GMO Project Verified, the company notes. They are 1.41 ounces each and available in strawberry macadamia nut, chocolate mint, blueberry cashew and double chocolate. They have a SRP of $2.99 each and $24.99 for a nine-ct box.



Shaking Up the Snack Aisle with New Flavors

  • By Riverside Communications

WEST VAUGHAN, Ontario, March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — MadeGood®, the leading allergy-friendly and nutrient-rich granola snack creators, launches new flavors of the brand’s most popular products: Crispy Squares and Granola Bars. NEW to the snack family starting April 2019 will be Strawberry Crispy Squares, Caramel Crispy Squares, and Sweet & Salty Granola Bars. Indulge in the newest MadeGood flavors that are not only allergen-free and safe for school, but are also gluten-free, certified vegan, organic, Non-GMO, kosher and contain nutrients from vegetables.


Strawberry Crispy Square, Caramel Crispy Square, Sweet & Salty Granola from MadeGood

“MadeGood is thrilled to once again expand upon the availability of healthy snacks that everyone can enjoy,” says Nima Fotovat, president of Riverside Natural Foods, manufacturer of MadeGood. “We’re proud to be providing more flavor options for our consumers and offering healthier alternatives to traditional granola bars and rice crispy treats that are not only nutritious, but absolutely delicious!”

The NEW flavors of MadeGood Crispy Squares are the perfect addition to the line of nutritious MadeGood snacks that are perfect for snack time and school lunchboxes. Once only available in delicious Vanilla and tempting Chocolate Chip, these delicious squares now boast a fresh Strawberry flavor (complete with freeze-dried strawberries on top) and an enticing Caramel flavor. Swap out the traditional rice crispy treats for a healthier, allergy-friendly Crispy Square instead that contains nutrients from vegetables!

For an easy breakfast or on-the-go snack, MadeGood Granola Bars are made using simple, minimally processed, organic ingredients that are also combined with nutrients from vegetables. Now available in the NEW Sweet & Salty flavor, MadeGood Granola Bars are also available in Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Banana, Chocolate Chip, Mixed Berry, and Strawberry.

“We are excited to expand upon our customers’ favorite MadeGood snacks with these new and flavorful additions,” Nima adds. “Our entirely allergy-free facility has helped to develop flavors that are not only delicious but safe for schools, and we’re excited to see MadeGood’s presence expand in grocery stores across North America.”

All MadeGood products are produced in a dedicated facility free from the most common allergens: peanut, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, egg, soy, sesame, fish and shellfish. They are available at major grocery outlets and natural foods stores across the country including Whole Foods Market, Krogers, Wegmans, Meijers and many more. MadeGood’s Sweet & Salty Granola Bars, Strawberry Crispy Squares, and Caramel Crispy Squares are hitting store shelves in April 2019, just in time for spring and summer snacking.

For more information about MadeGood products, visit

Media Contact: Emerald-Jane Hunter at 312-874-7204 or

ABOUT MadeGood®:

Canadian-based MadeGood® is dedicated to providing healthy snacks that are rich in nutrients, allergen friendly and minimally processed. All MadeGood products contain wholesome organic ingredients that are ethically sourced. Also, proud to be a certified B Corporation and part of a group of for-profit companies, certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. MadeGood is made in a Zero Waste certified facility. MadeGood® is a good choice for your health, your family’s health and the planet’s health. Trust in something good. For more details, visit or @madegoodfoods.