We see dignity in tearing down the barriers to access. Especially for those with celiac disease, food insecurity reaches beyond those who live below the poverty line and for that reason we do not require financial statements from applicants. We also acknowledge that access to medical care is limited for many Americans and as a result, we do not require a prescription or physician's letter.
Mend Hunger delivers a box of gluten-free essentials like bread, baking mix, pasta, cookies, crackers, and more once a month. This program is available to households that are experiencing a financial hardship that is expected to last longer than 3 months. After three months, households are required to recertify their continued need.
Celiac disease is a genetically mediated autoimmune disease that, if left untreated, is associated with inflammation and damage of the small intestine that can lead to malabsorption, infertility, osteoporosis, lymphoproliferative malignancy, and other autoimmune diseases. The only treatment for celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a gluten free diet (GFD). A GFD eliminates all wheat, rye and barley—the most ubiquitous grains used for staple food products including bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, and snacks. Cost, determined by price per ounce and availability of a “market basket” of regular and GF products across four venues and five geographic regions was compared using a student’s t test. GF products were more expensive (overall 183%), and in all regions and venues (p < 0.001). In addition, the staple items of a traditional American diet, such as bread and pasta also had significant price differences compared to their wheat-based counterparts—229% and 227% more expensive, respectively.
Mend Hunger is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization (Tax ID number 81-3123754) under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. © Mend Hunger. All rights reserved.