Posts on this blog, are written from my experiences as a parent of a child with food allergies. I am not a medical expert. Please always consult your physician for medical advice. This blog is not a substitute for professional advice. Due to the ever changing manufacturing process and/or ingredients, please check food labels each and every time to make sure they comply with your food allergies. The Alherrgy Mom Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn very small advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But NO, we won't let that sway our opinions, all products listed, are found in our home and are regularly used by us.

How to Advocate for Food Allergy Signage at Community Parks

February 12, 2019

Food Allergy Signage at Community Parks

The outcome is still unknown, I could be doing all this work and at the end of the day, they could still reject it. Even though, I’ve made it through the first Parks and Rec meeting with them wanting more information, I’m still being cautiously optimistic.

Here are the steps, that I’ve taken so far in my own community to help advocate for my son and others who have food allergies in our community.

First: I emailed our Townships secretary. Most Townships have emails or a phone number published on their website of who the main contact is. In that email, I gave a short overview of my plans and how I was going to achieve them. I also inquired when the next Parks and Rec meeting was and if they could put this on the agenda. I made sure I could attend. You need to make yourself available and speak on behalf of what you want to do, because if you don’t take it seriously, then they won’t either.

Secondly: A few things that can kill any deal is money and legal stuff. At the time, I didn’t have the legal stuff ironed out yet and I still don’t -- but I’m working on it. I will post an update when I get one. But the money part, I had a solution for, without having to involved tax dollars. Double Win! Fundraising or having a local girl scout or boy scout use this as their Scout Project.

The third thing: When I was preparing for the Parks and Rec meeting, I wanted to make a handout. They will listen to you but they won’t remember it all but if you give them too much info, it will fall by the wayside. So you need to get to that happy medium and stick to the facts! My husband, a CPA ( Certified Public Accountant), he specializes and gives presentations on Government Audit and School Districts. He talks in front of Township boards all the time. He was able to give me some information and talking points. So I was prepared. I had him review my hand-out and get his stamp of approval. I broke my hand-out down into 3 parts: Facts, An Act for Change and How we can achieve this.

  • Facts: I pointed out 3 or 4 facts about food allergies, that would stop, make them think and how much people could benefit from these signs. I didn’t make this all about my son, it’s about my son and all the other kids with food allergies who use our local parks. Ex: 1 in 13 children have food allergies.
  • An Act of Change: Why I want to do this. Ex: Signs would be a “suggestion” and to “raise awareness about food allergies in the community”. It’s not taking away anyone’s rights to eat in the parks and it’s still the sole responsibility of the parent/caregiver to watch their food allergy children.
  • How we can achieve this: aka Money. Normally, the signs you see hanging around would be paid for by the tax payers. I knew going into this, that I could find a way around that, my success rate would be higher. Fundraising!!

On the second page of the hand-out you'll want to attach a few examples of signs with measurements, so they can see exactly what you want to do. I found 3 different examples and attached them.

Lastly: The signs! You'll want to find a Municipal Sign company. If you're local to Berks County, PA. I suggest you look into Miller Municipal Signs. They have great rates on signs and their customer service is top notch! The custom signs I'm looking into are 12" x 18" and they are about $30 per sign (a steal!!! for custom signs, I think). Hardware is sold separately, so depending on how you're hanging them will depend on what you'll need. I thought this whole thing would be in the thousands of dollars. I'm barely breaking $300 for 8-10 signs + hardware. You'll also want to buy a few extra in case they get vandalized or if they grow legs and walk away. 
  • Go out and visit all the sites you want to hang the signs. Townships aren't going to want signs every 2 feet. Us allergy moms would love to plaster signs every 12 inches but we got to be practical. Once you start talking nonsense, your success rate will go down. But go out and look around. Scout out the best spots for the signs. If there are any pavilions, ask to hang one there too. Take pictures!!!! Having as much clear and concise information is best. Pictures are the best way to show exactly where you want to put them.  
Do not forget to add your contact information to the bottom of the hand-out. If they have questions later, they have all your information right there. 

I hope this helps! Our allergy kiddos need us to advocate for them! Don't think someone else will. If you ever have any questions or need any help, I will try my best to help you! Feel free to email me or DM me anytime! 

Remember to tag #the_allergy_mom I'd really love to follow along on this journey with you!

Post a Comment

© The Alherrgy Mom Blog. Design by FCD.