North Carolina Governor Declares May Celiac Disease Awareness Month
• Triangle residents can participate in a gluten-free food drive at various locations or make a monetary donation to help stock the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina
• Bella Monica Italian Restaurant is hosting a six-course gluten-free dinner prepared by Vanessa Maltin, food and lifestyle editor for Delight Gluten-free Magazine
• A top food allergens poster is available for restaurants to download to educate their staff about these items, including gluten
Raleigh, N.C., USA, April 30, 2010 – The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog has announced Governor Beverly Perdue has declared May 2010 “Celiac Disease Awareness Month” in North Carolina. The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog and Pat Berger, leader of the North Raleigh Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) Support Group brought the petition to the Governor’s office regarding the awareness month.
Celiac Disease is a genetic autoimmune disease that affects one in 133 people in the United States. It interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food and can cause gastrointestinal and neurological issues, infertility, skin rashes and cancer. The only treatment for Celiac Disease is lifelong, strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.
“The Governor’s proclamation paves the way to further educate the community on Celiac Disease and helps to create a positive impact on the quality of life for people living with this condition,” said Zach Becker, creator of the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog. “It’s my goal to help raise awareness so those living with this disease can safely eat out at restaurants and have easier access to gluten-free food.”
In an effort to educate, raise awareness and give back to the community, there are a number of gluten-free events scheduled during the month of May.
• A gluten-free food drive will be held on Saturday, May 8 to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Special discounts at the drop off locations may be available in exchange for your donation. Bins are set up in each of these locations to accept the packaged gluten-free non-perishable food items:
o Rosie’s Plate – N. Person St., Raleigh
o Bella Monica Italian Restaurant – Edwards Mill Rd., Raleigh
o ZPizza – Falls of Neuse Rd., Raleigh and Cornerstone Dr., Cary
o Mellow Mushroom – W. Peace St., Raleigh
o Whole Foods Market, Raleigh – Wade Ave., Raleigh
o Earth Fare – Moncreiffe Rd., Raleigh
o Harmony Farms/Café Harmony – Creedmoor Rd., Raleigh
• A virtual Gluten Free food drive will be held all month to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina with gluten-free food. The link to donate can be located at the top of the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog.
• On Sunday, May 16, beginning at 5 p.m., Bella Monica Italian Restaurant will host a six-course gluten-free dinner prepared by Vanessa Maltin, food and lifestyle editor for Delight Gluten-free Magazine and Corbett Monica, head chef at Bella Monica Italian Restaurant. They will be preparing dishes from Maltin’s gluten-free cookbook entitled The Gloriously Gluten-Free Cookbook: Spicing Up Life with Italian, Asian and Mexican Recipes. Copies of the cookbook will also be included. Tickets are required for this dining event and can be purchased by calling Bella Monica Italian Restaurant at 919-881-9778.
• The Gluten Free Raleigh Blog worked with Sofia Noble of the design firm This Is Beautiful to create a poster featuring all of the top food allergens, including gluten. This poster is now available for download in English and Spanish at the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog. Wake County restaurant owners may use it to educate their staffs about these foods.
“Research indicates there are approximately three million people living with Celiac Disease in the United States and of those, only about 120,000 have been diagnosed,” said Alice Bast, founder and president of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). “It’s great to see North Carolina working to raise awareness about this disease so perhaps others can be accurately diagnosed by their doctors. Zach Becker and the entire North Carolina Celiac Disease community should be commended for their leadership and successful advocacy efforts.”
About Gluten Free Raleigh Blog
Zach Becker was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in May 2008. He founded the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog in August 2008 and has created similar blogs across the state. He has recruited writers for these blogs so gluten-free information in those communities can be shared. The blogs contain restaurant and grocery store reviews, summaries of national news as well as highlight local companies that cater to the gluten-free community. Becker is an advocate for those living with Celiac Disease in the Triangle and donates his time to educate the newly diagnosed, local restaurants and government leaders on this condition.