One of the most powerful ways we at the Celiac Disease Foundation can advocate on behalf of the patient community is to work with the federal government to improve the lives of everyone – everyone – affected by celiac disease. Each day we search for ways to effectively carry patient concerns to lawmakers in Congress and federal regulatory agencies.
Just last week we had the unique opportunity to lead an expert group of 21 medical, professional, and non-profit organizations in a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to elevate the needs of a particularly vulnerable population: celiac patients struggling with food insecurity who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.
This program is designed to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care.
Our letter thanks the agency for including naturally gluten-free products in the program, urges additions to include gluten-free bread and cereal options that are currently not included, and requests that any future program updates include accommodations for celiac patients.