The Celiac and Allergy Friendly Food Initiative (CAFFI) is a nonprofit organization, established by two Stow residents, Amy Adams and Lisa Herman. Amy and Lisa decided to start The Celiac and Allergy Friendly Food Initiative because it is a cause close to their hearts. Lisa was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 5 years ago and Amy has gluten sensitivity and a food allergy to eggs. In supporting one another by sharing food recipes, ideas, and products, Amy and Lisa learned that gaining access to gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods can be complicated and expensive. While Amy and Lisa are fortunate enough to have the means to access these foods, there are many in the Stow Community and surrounding communities who do not.
It has been reported that 8% of children and 4% of adults have food allergies. Statistics show that approximately 100,000 people in Summit and Portage Counties combined are food insecure. WIC and Community food pantries are assistance programs for low income, but they do not cover a lot of special, allergy-friendly food.
The Celiac and Allergy Friendly Food Initiative works in partnership with Portage County Family and Community Services in order to have space to store food and to distribute food through Summit and Portage County Food Pantries.