Sheryl Harpel, Founder
Over a decade ago, Sheryl's two children were both diagnosed with celiac disease, as well as her sister, father, and nephew. To cope, she created a New Jersey celiac support group with a handful of friends. Gluten Free Friends has since morphed into a large community of active members, sharing ideas and supporting each other on everything related to living gluten-free.
By completing Beyond Celiac's Gluten-Free Resource Education Awareness Training (GREAT), Sheryl prepared herself to even better advise this community. The GFF Blog was created to further enable this support group to share celiac stories and wisdom, and guest bloggers are welcome.
As the children of members got older, they faced new challenges in college dining halls. This prompted a new focus on improving the college experience for college students with celiac disease on campuses across the country. Gluten Free Friends became an official resource for the National Celiac Association in 2019, enabling the group to make an even greater impact.
The GFF plan to improve dining options for college students with celiac disease and food allergies:
Increase Awareness Among College Leadership:
Educate colleges on the legal rights of students with food-related disabilities and the marketing advantage of meeting this challenge well
Increase collaboration among celiac and allergy organizations to communicate this message
Give schools an approach for assessing and meeting the challenge
Create online content to share best practices, compliance implications, and trends
Empower Students and Prospective Families:
Shine the light on how well individual schools manage the challenge by posting candid surveys and providing feedback to schools
Create online content to help students and prospective families self-advocate
Facilitate cross-college student communication
Join and become a GFF! Share our posts to increase awareness and bring about change!