Meet Toby, an 8th Grader Who Has Worked His Whole Life to Raise Food Allergy Awareness
Happy Celiac Awareness Month & Food Allergy Action Month! To celebrate all month long, we are featuring some standouts in the Celiac and Food Allergy community. They go above and beyond to bring awareness and share their stories.
First up, meet Toby! Toby has been bringing food allergy awareness to the forefront locally in his school since the first grade, and as his academic education has progressed, so has the food allergy education he’s helped bring to his community. Read more about his story, and his new class project below. We at Enjoy Life wish him luck as the winner of his class project is chosen this week!
My name is Toby Shaw. I am severely allergic to peanuts. I have had my allergy my whole life. I am a new member of TAG (Teen Advisory Group) for FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), to help other teens with allergies and bring food allergy awareness. I have always been a big advocate for food allergy education. I planned the first “Food Allergy Awareness Week” at my school in the first grade. We had Skates (the mascot from the Chicago Wolves) come, and we had Enjoy Life products for the kids and teachers.
I am also my school’s Student Council president. I am on the drama team and newspaper, and I even got to be the school mascot! I will be a freshman at Wauconda High School this fall.
ABOUT MY PROJECT:
At the beginning of the school year, the 8th grade class began the “Social Studies Fair” project. We were to choose a subject that interests us and that we want people to learn about. I chose “A closer look at eating with food allergies.” I interviewed several food companies, and did a private tour of Enjoy Life Foods. It was AWESOME. I also wanted to show people how to read ingredient labels, and what those labels really tell you. I did a ton of research to give suggestions of some places to eat, or to order desserts or snacks from. It can be very difficult to find safe things to eat if you don’t know what you are looking for, so I am really hoping I have helped some people out!
I have worked on this since the beginning of the year and it has been a blast. After our projects were on display at school, the teachers and staff voted. A few projects were chosen among the schools in our district to go to the library for a few weeks for judging. My project was chosen. It is now at display at the Wauconda Public Library. They will be choosing the winner this week. Wish me luck!
I am proud to bring food allergy awareness to the community. The more we talk about it, the more safe kids can feel and be just like everyone else!