Miss South Jersey Helps Promote Food Allergy Awareness

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WOOLWICH TOWNSHIP, N.J. -

Miss South Jersey Jaime Gialloreto is passionate about food-allergy awareness. 

It has been her platform while competing in pageants, but it's also a subject Gialloreto is passionate about off the stage. 

She helped to kick off Food Allergy Awareness Week by teaching other students at her own high school, Kingsway Regional High School, the facts that they would need to know about allergic reactions in case of an emergency. She even demonstrated how to use three types of epinephrine auto-injectors, or EPI Pens.

"My goal is to create a safer and more inclusive environment for people with food allergies," said Gialloreto. "So I like to promote the three A's, which are avoidance, awareness, and action. So avoidance would be reading food labels, washing hands before and after you eat, awareness would be stuff like the table today, getting the information out there, getting the facts about food allergies, and then action is really knowing how to use those epinephrine auto-injectors." 

Gialloreto found that many people believe that if they don't have a food allergy already, that the information doesn't pertain to them. In reality, anyone can develop a food allergy at any time. Reactions can be as severe as death and this possibility hits close to home for Gialloreto as her younger brother, Michael, has multiple severe food allergies.

In reality, anyone can develop a food allergy at any time.

"So that's where the inspiration for my platform came from," said Gialloreto. "Being with him in the household and living with him for the last 15 years of his life has inspired me to be the voice of those 15 million Americans with food allergies."

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Fellow students and staff at Kingsway Regional joined in by wearing red to promote the Red Sneaker Movement, which is an organization in honor of Oakley Debbs, an 11-year-old who passed away in November 2016 from a severe allergy reaction.

"I think it could prevent a lot of emergencies," said Marissa Whitten, an English teacher at the high school. "It would inform the students here to be more aware and to empathize with kids that may have some limitations."

The 20th Annual National Food Allergy Awareness Week officially begins this coming Monday, May 15th.


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