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Homeless Celiacs
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Where does a homeless Celiac go to get a good steak,onion and poatao dinner? And lots of milk and vitamins so our bones won't break? It could happen.

Me, I'm a real old teenageCeliac .....almost 40.

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There is no place that I know of and this is one of the reasons why I try to donate regularly to my local food bank. I make sure everything is gluten-free including the toiletries and pet foods that I take.

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There is no place that I know of and this is one of the reasons why I try to donate regularly to my local food bank. I make sure everything is gluten-free including the toiletries and pet foods that I take.

Me too.

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I think it would be a wonderful idea to start a non-profit for those with allergies and low income. Teaching them about good nutrition and how to eat good on a low budget.

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Actually we do NOT give food to the food banks in our area. I've called every food bank I can find asking if the gluten-free food I donate would be set aside for gluten-free patrons (you know, like sugar free food for diabetics). NO. Each one of them told me that they just give people a box of whatever. They said that if someone doesn't "want" certain items they can return them (not in exchange for anything). So I don't donate to them. The local Celiac support group does tend to gather and give to individuals.... but that's it.

The answer is if you are homeless and Celiac, try not to be one or the other of those. :angry:

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I have been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since it came up at this board. How would you go about starting a food pantry for those with extra special needs? I am really interested in this and would love to start one. I work at a church so I maybe it could be funded that way, what do you all think?

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I have been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since it came up at this board. How would you go about starting a food pantry for those with extra special needs? I am really interested in this and would love to start one. I work at a church so I maybe it could be funded that way, what do you all think?

I think that is a great idea. Does your church already have a food bank? If it does you could first go in and mark stuff that is safe. If not I would talk to 'the powers that be' at the church. If you get their permission then visit markets in your area and see if you can set up boxes for donations from the public to get started. Getting funding might be tough in these economic times, the poor are the first to lose when things get as rough as they are right now, but there may be many in your community that might help if they know there is a place to do so. If you have a local newspaper perhaps they might even run a piece on the food bank and your efforts to let the community know what you are doing.

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I'm not trying to be insensitive here....but if you're homeless do you really care about the fact that you're a celiac. I mean if you're homeless...wouldn't you be more concerned with just eating in general...I don't know. I thought about this once before when I was visiting Atlanta and saw a bunch of homeless people. I just think if I was homeless...I'd probably worry about just eating in general. I think when y ou're homeless, your body might just react a lot different...I imagine when you're homeless you just learn to adjust and your body is a lot different

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If what you eat gives you diarrhea and inhibits absorption, you'll eventually die.

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I've actually thought about it alot over the last year or so... I talked to my husband about donating to food banks and stuff but he really likes to give to people in a more personal way so it sets an example for the kids so that they can see that you are helping real people and builds relationships in the process. I'm glad we didn't do the food bank thing though... since they don't set it aside... I think that is just crazy. I mean sure they are in need and its a thing of taking what you are given... but a food allergy or intolerance isn't just being a picky eater! anyway, if anyone comes up with a real tangible way of getting gluten-free foods to the people who need them I would be interested to hear it!

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I have given my name and contact information if someone has gluten free needs through the Food Pantry. I haven't gotten any calls though.

You could contact your local Department of Social Services. They might know of a family in need.

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I'm guessing that very few homeless Celiacs have been diagnosed. The news stories suggest most people living on the streets have mental illness problems, drug and alcohol abuse problems, and don't always avail themselves of indigent health care services. Some are in and out of jail. They live in high-risk crime and abuse environments.

Throw in being exposed to the elements more, and an inferior or inconsistant diet, and it's a pretty good bet that many are in poor physical health.

Daily life is most likely more about survival (literally), and less about food intolerances, than those of us more fortunate.

best regards, lm

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I'm guessing that very few homeless Celiacs have been diagnosed. The news stories suggest most people living on the streets have mental illness problems, drug and alcohol abuse problems, and don't always avail themselves of indigent health care services. Some are in and out of jail. They live in high-risk crime and abuse environments.

Throw in being exposed to the elements more, and an inferior or inconsistant diet, and it's a pretty good bet that many are in poor physical health.

Daily life is most likely more about survival (literally), and less about food intolerances, than those of us more fortunate.

best regards, lm

which is what I was basically trying to say but apparently didn't do a very good job!

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Actually we do NOT give food to the food banks in our area. I've called every food bank I can find asking if the gluten-free food I donate would be set aside for gluten-free patrons (you know, like sugar free food for diabetics). NO. Each one of them told me that they just give people a box of whatever. They said that if someone doesn't "want" certain items they can return them (not in exchange for anything). So I don't donate to them. The local Celiac support group does tend to gather and give to individuals.... but that's it.

The answer is if you are homeless and Celiac, try not to be one or the other of those. :angry:

mmm.. It is a sad thought... Celiac disease & the gluten free diet can be rather expensive...

Maybe, someone should start a celiac foundation for the poor...

I can't imagine what is worst??? Starving or Eating gluten and getting painfully sick...

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I'm guessing that very few homeless Celiacs have been diagnosed. The news stories suggest most people living on the streets have mental illness problems, drug and alcohol abuse problems, and don't always avail themselves of indigent health care services. Some are in and out of jail. They live in high-risk crime and abuse environments.

Throw in being exposed to the elements more, and an inferior or inconsistant diet, and it's a pretty good bet that many are in poor physical health.

Daily life is most likely more about survival (literally), and less about food intolerances, than those of us more fortunate.

best regards, lm

I guess I would have thought this as well, until I started going to the conferences at the hospital across the street from where I work. It's the county hospital, and also runs clinics in the homeless area of the city.

Celiac has not come up, but plenty of people are diagnosed with things that could be helped by diet (eg diabetes) or need meds that have to be taken with certain types of food (eg milk).

One case presented was a guy that had managed to maintain a strict vegan diet for enough years to become B-deficient.

Also, I have known people that lost their job and ended up living in their car for a period of time with NO medical issues at all.

There are people on my commute route that live under overpasses. They are always their and much of their existence depends on the people coming of the ferry to give them food. I can think of one with alcohol issues, but most have mental issues. One guy that had been 'adopted' by ferry commuters was as well taken care of as he would permit, including a bus ticket to visit his brother, and someone agreeing to take his dog when he died of cancer, which he chose not to treat.

There are many, many stories on the street...

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I'm not trying to be insensitive here....but if you're homeless do you really care about the fact that you're a celiac. I mean if you're homeless...wouldn't you be more concerned with just eating in general...I don't know.

No... for me eating gluten can kill me. The last time I was glutened my thyroid shut down and I was nearly hospitalized. It would be better for me to not eat at all than eat gluten. Id stand a better chance.

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I can't imagine what is worst??? Starving or Eating gluten and getting painfully sick...

I have done both in my lifetime. For me after a short while without food I just stopped feeling hungry. Personally if I ever end up in that situation again I would pick starving.

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Actually we do NOT give food to the food banks in our area. I've called every food bank I can find asking if the gluten-free food I donate would be set aside for gluten-free patrons (you know, like sugar free food for diabetics). NO. Each one of them told me that they just give people a box of whatever. They said that if someone doesn't "want" certain items they can return them (not in exchange for anything). So I don't donate to them. The local Celiac support group does tend to gather and give to individuals.... but that's it.

The answer is if you are homeless and Celiac, try not to be one or the other of those. :angry:

That's why I don't donate things like gluten-free bread. I donate for sure gluten-free canned goods like delmonte veggies, fruits and tomato sauces, bags of rice, Thai rice noodles, Spam and gluten-free canned chickens and tuna, gluten-free condiments, gluten-free broths and that sort of thing. The folks that work at the food banks don't have any training in dealing with special dietary issues and most likely would not want the responsibility of saying they can deal with them and then having someone make a mistake. By donating 'regular' foods that I know are gluten-free I know that I am helping not only those who are diagnosed but also maybe cutting down on the gluten intake of those that should be but are not.

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I became very ill and could not work. My disability ran out, I went through my savings, was having problems getting any social services or SS. I had to get food from the food bank.(No, the food banks don't care about your food allergies, you're lucky to get what you get.) At this time I only knew about my soy allergy. I often didn't care and just ate food to eat food. When you're begging for food, being picky isn't exactly on the menu. The same was true when I was a starving art student.

Ironically, I was so sick because of the celiacs.

All the pain, depression, mood swings, stomach problems, skin problems etc. all because of food allergies. How much of my life did miss out on?

I think there are so many sick, mentally ill, depressed, drug addicted people because of food allergies. How many of these homeless people wouldn't be homeless if they didn't have medical conditions stemming from an improper diet?

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Where does a homeless Celiac go to get a good steak,onion and poatao dinner? And lots of milk and vitamins so our bones won't break? It could happen.

Me, I'm a real old teenageCeliac .....almost 40.

This is a question I'm sure we've all thought a lot about recently.

After reading the comments here, I have concluded that the fact that there is no special set aside for Celiacs in shelters and pantries is reflective of the disease's low status, mostly in the medical community.

Think about it - if a homeless person has diabetes, that is taken into consideration by a shelter or medical facility. So is heart disease. On many clinics' intake forms diabetes and heart issues are boxes to check off or not. Celiac disease is not.

Otherwise, what are we to answer when we ask ourselves if celiac disease is only a disease of those with means?

I also hesitate giving gluten-free products to food banks without knowing ahead of time that there is a well-followed plan in place to take care of people with food issues.

As for mental issues. I wonder how many among us could live without a home and continue 'appearing' normal and functional. I think homelessness causes so-called mental issues.

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Think about it - if a homeless person has diabetes, that is taken into consideration by a shelter ....

Is it? The talks I've gone to at the community hospital discuss the problems of treating diabetes in the homeless when the bulk of their diet is made up of simple carbs. I'm pretty sure people living on the street die from their diet related issues...

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if anyone comes up with a real tangible way of getting gluten-free foods to the people who need them I would be interested to hear it!

I read an article in Oct/Nov. issue of "Living Without", Special-Diet Food Banks. If anyone is interested the article mentions several way one can get involved, help, educate, etc. I don't know if I'm permitted to re-print contact information in the article?

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Is it? The talks I've gone to at the community hospital discuss the problems of treating diabetes in the homeless when the bulk of their diet is made up of simple carbs. I'm pretty sure people living on the street die from their diet related issues...

I have to agree with this. Many of the folks who visit the food bank I voluteer at virtually ignore the issues they do have or don't understand them. Diabetes is the one I see the most. We get a lot of baked goods donated and even when we try to give folks diabetes freindly foods they still request lots of sweet baked goods. I have had folks that come in and will say they can't eat wheat but many only think of wheat as 'white flour'.

I live on an extremely limited income and we do get gluten free foods donated at times. Usually they will put them aside for me. To say it is appretiated is putting it mildly but when I am in the pantry I see so many who need to be tested and whose ill health is the reason they are forced to be there in the first place.

My biggest fear in life is being homeless again. I know I would starve to death but at least I wouldn't die from a massive painfilled bowel bleed.

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Is it? The talks I've gone to at the community hospital discuss the problems of treating diabetes in the homeless when the bulk of their diet is made up of simple carbs. I'm pretty sure people living on the street die from their diet related issues...

I live in DC. I used to work at a nonprofit that helped people get jobs. We would want to know about any and all medical issues, such as diabetes.

At certain kitchens around the city, awareness is adequate about a good diet and tailoring it to a medical condition. It might not be the case at every single shelter or kitchen, though.

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I have found a small food bank that wants gluten-free food. They put the things I bring aside for thier clients that need gluten-free. I have spoken with them and seen the place. They also know that the people who need gluten-free can have other things, not just what I bring ( like PB, corn, etc). People don't usually ask because they assume she doesn't have gluten-free pasta or Bisquick or Rice Chex. she puts it on an announcement board. She has a birthday closet with party napkins, cake mixes, birthday candles, etc. she asked if I could bring a few gluten-free cake mixes and icing next time.

When I give to a big food bank, I give things that are gluten-free like Chex or the gluten-free Progresso soups. You don't spend more but I think it's there and maybe someone could chose it.

As for food kitchens( walk up meals) most do the best they can. With most people with Celiac & gluten intolerance not diagnosed, there probably aren't many asking what was used to thicken the soup.

The shelters where you are " admitted to" and stay for a period of time and get job counseling, health checked, etc might try to help with a diagnosed diabetic or Celiac.

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