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6-10-15 One of a kind: ReNewed Health Food Pantry

by John Treolo, Communication Director
Kansas-Nebraska Conference


A look inside the ReNewed Health Food Pantry and staples offered for people with food allergies.  Timothy Floyd

A first in the nation, the ReNewed Health Food Pantry in Overland Park, Kan., offers free foods for people with food allergies or Celiac Disease. Sponsored by the New Haven Church, ReNewed Health is trying to meet the health needs of about 5,500 children in the Greater Kansas City area who face hunger and food allergies.

According to Karen Miller, a retired dietician, the concept was birthed by two mothers, Emily Brown and Amy Goode, who have children about the same age with similar food allergies. These three co-founders realized the cost of allergy-friendly and gluten-free foods normally cost more than four times the amount of traditional food. For example, Hemp milk can cost $15 per gallon and isn’t offered by the government’s Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program. 

Much of the pantry food has been donated by manufacturers, stores and a gluten-free bakery.

“What we are providing are the core items that families need to put together a meal,” Miller says.

To qualify, families need a physician’s note or lab results verifying allergies to certain foods. “The scope for anyone with an allergy is here,” says Douglas Carruthers, community services director for the church. “Adjacent to the panty there will be a room for educational opportunities offering information and DVDs on food allergies.”


Paul Lyons, Emily Brown, Karen Miller and Amy Goode cut the ribbon to officially open the ReNewed Health Food Pantry in Overland Park, Kan. Timothy Floyd

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open ReNewed Health, Paul Lyons, president of the Overland Park City Council, said, “This is the kind of thing that makes our community better. It’s good to see a group of people like you and a church like this looking out and saying ‘what can I do to help others.’”

Goode believes that families should not have to choose hunger over health. For Brown, this project has consumed her life. “I envision ReNewed Health to set the standard for pantries of this nature, not only in Kansas City, but across the nation.”

Senior pastor of New Haven, Douglas Elsey, states the mission for ReNewed Health: “We do this because Jesus asks us to make a difference, to feed His children and to help and love each other. That’s why we do this.”

For further information, log on to: www.foodpantries.org/li/renewed-health.


North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-1565 USA
Telephone: 443-391-7200
Fax: 443-391-
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