Tag Archives: Lisa Hofmeister

Food Allergies: “Fluffy” Name Masks Real Danger

Lisa Hofmeister’s family had no history of food allergies. She was vaguely aware of concerns about kids and nuts, but never gave a thought to things like birthday party food.

A couple of years ago, Blake — then 3 1/2 — ate a peanut butter M&M. Two hours later, he was covered from head to toe in hives.

His Landmark Preschool teachers reacted calmly, quickly and professionally. EMTs used an EpiPen to control the reaction.

Since then, Lisa worries constantly about brownies and cupcakes. She reads the labels of every food item she buys.

FARE logo

Blake — who is allergic to peanuts, pistachios and cashews — is handling things well. On Halloween, the 5-year-old asks everyone handing out candy if it contains any of those nuts.

Landmark is 100% nut-free. Kings Highway Elementary — Blake’s new school — has a nut-free cafeteria table.

Lisa is realistic. “Parents worry that their kid will get hit crossing the street,” she says. “This is just one more worry.”

She also knows that actions speak louder than words. So she’s gotten involved in Food Allergy Research & Education, an educational, research and advocacy organization.

On Saturday, September 24 (1 to 4 p.m.), FARE sponsors a fundraising, awareness and community-building program at Sherwood Island State Park. Besides a half-mile walk, there will be face painting, relay races, carnival games, arts and crafts, a magician and live reggae music.

Participants run at FARE's 2015 walk.

Participants run at FARE’s 2015 walk.

This is FARE’s only Connecticut event. Because it’s in our back yard — and free — Lisa hopes many Westporters will participate.

As a woman who never cared about food allergies until they struck home, Lisa knows that raising awareness is key.

It’s also hard.

“It’s scary that doctors don’t know what causes this, or why it’s increasing so rapidly,” Lisa says.

“It’s also too bad that this doesn’t have a scarier name. ‘Food allergy’ is fluffy. Maybe if it was called something different, more people would be more aware.”

(For more information — or to register for the September 24 event, or volunteer — click here.)

 


Click here for “06880+”: The easy way to publicize upcoming events, sell items, find or advertise your service, ask questions, etc. It’s the “06880” community bulletin board!

Westport: An Attractive Dump

Alert “06880” reader Lisa Hofmeister writes:

As a Westport resident for over 4 years, I have had an issue with Westport Waste Management for a while. After today’s incident I thought “06880” could broadcast it, and hopefully get some notice.

As I disposed of my trash I saw a white unmarked van with New York license plates pull up. Two 25-year old-ish men dressed in work clothes started to remove trash bags, a bathroom sink and countertop, dry wall, wooden baseboard, etc., and throw it all into our dump. There was no one nearby, so I went to the hut by the entrance to report them.

Westport transfer station

For a town that is so strict on summer beach passes, deer rights over residents, prohibiting dogs on the beach 6 months out of the year and making residents get approval to remove any vegetation on their property if wetlands are involved, I wondered why we are not more strict with our trash removal — something residents pay directly for.

It could be as simple as picking up a sticker for your car — just like the beach. Benefits would include reduced tax dollars, as residents and the town would not pay for non-resident trash removal. The town could also track how many residents use it versus private contractors.

I checked the town website (Public Works Department). Two sentences address who is eligible to use the transfer station: 

Westport residents are allowed to dispose of a variety of household items that includes furniture, carpeting, lamps, televisions and many other similar items. An area has been set aside for recycling household electronics.

The transfer station is frequently used by contractors working on Westport homes.

And, of course, by others. Including guys in vans with New York plates.