NOBLESVILLE — As the number of people, especially kids, with food allergies goes up across the country, one local company has recognized the need for allergy-specific donations in disaster areas.
Brian Selwa and his wife started “Peanut Free Planet” in Noblesville as a web business that offers allergen-free foods that exclude things like peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and milk.
“We didn’t think that people’s needs were being addressed, so we decided to start the company,” Selwa said.
Now, the company has taken on the task of donations, too. Most recently they’ve been sending food to Moore, Oklahoma, where a food pantry has been set up specifically for displaced families with allergies.
“There’s another few boxes that (we) send out every week and I’m sure there will be more,” Selwa said.
In most cases, donations sent to disaster areas do not include allergy-specific food products because they’re purchased in bulk and those foods can be more expensive.
“We had one lady that was telling me, you know, she had survived on just cans of tuna fish and gummy bears for several days, because that’s all she could get that was safe for her,” said Heather Matlack, who runs the specialized pantry in Oklahoma.
Selwa has offered to pay all shipping on donations made by visitors to the site, since donations are still needed in Oklahoma, where rain after tornadoes there did even more damage to homes.
If you’d like to help, go to peanutfreeplanet.com.