Wilton mom co-chairs food allergy walk

The Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) annual Walk for Food Allergy will be in Westport for the second time on Oct. 3, and the co-chair of the walk is from Wilton.
Jenny Andjelkovic has lived in town for 12 years. Not only is she in charge of logistics for the event; she will also be participating as the leader of her own team, the Wilton Warriors.
As of Sept. 15, the Wilton Warriors have registered 20 members and have raised just over $6,000 in advance of the walk, according to Andjelkovic.
“I hope to raise $10,000 this year,” she said.
The Walk for Food Allergy will be held at Sherwood Island State Park from 1 to 4, and the event is more than its name implies.
“It’s a ‘family fun day’” said Andjelkovic.
Supplementing the awareness walk will be live music, face painting, soccer, chair massages and arts and crafts featuring the Teal Pumpkin Project, a national FARE initiative in which teal-painted wood-carved pumpkins are filled with non-food items and left out on porches on Halloween for trick-or-treaters with food allergies who may not be able to eat candy.

Personal reasons

Andjelkovic said that she has two very important reasons to walk: her children.
“My children Bella and Luka both have life-threatening nut allergies, and selfishly I would love to send them off to college and into the world on their own without the worry of a severe reaction,” she said.
“However, more importantly,” Andjelkovic added, “we all have a reason to walk. We should all be extremely concerned that food allergies are steadily on the rise in our country and that new and different foods are regularly being added to the ‘common food allergens’ list. I feel it is a critical human epidemic and I think we deserve to understand the reasons behind this rather new immune system issue.”
Andjelkovic’s children are allergic to both peanuts and tree nuts, and Luka also has a kiwi allergy.

Siblings host bake sale

Each of the families that are walking with the Wilton Warriors has at least one child with a severe food allergy, Andjelkovic said. Seven of those families are from Wilton.
To raise even more money for the walk, and thereby help out their brothers and sisters, the siblings of the allergic children hosted a bake sale on Sept. 25 at the Village Market.
All of the proceeds from the bake sale will go to the FARE Walk for Food Allergy.
For more information, or to register or volunteer, visit FoodAllergyWalk.org/Connecticut2015.