Free to Feed™
Supporting Your Food Allergy Family
How did a school counselor end up on the Free to Feed team? A new food allergy mom found us during her own search for answers, and fit right into the gang. She wholeheartedly supports children and families on the difficult road navigating infant food allergies.
Jess organized our Formula & Human Milk Share Program during the widespread Spring 2022 shortage. She was (and still is) behind emails, shipments, confirmations, searches, (and everything in between!) when our food allergy community was hit hard by this crisis.
Food allergy formula-fed babies often only have ONE kind that their little bodies can tolerate. We know your heart dropped too when news broke about the largest supplier of specialty formula shutting down.
Really stop and think for a second. Imagine not being able to feed your child. A worry no parent should have to endure.
Thanks to Jess’s diligent work, thousands of food allergy parents have been able to safely nourish their babies during this nationwide crisis!
She plays a critical part in our expanding team while aiding Dr. Trill in our groundbreaking research. Baby food allergies need more data for faster, reliable solutions. Our entire team’s working hard to bring them to you, and Jess takes everything on with compassion our families need.
We Welcome Jess’s Big-Hearted Experience
Jess has always loved the atmosphere of education. Growing up with her mom as a teacher, it’s not too surprising. But Jess knew she wanted to help people — particularly kids — in a different way. Her creative solution to a career in education that’s not teaching? School Counselor. (Brilliant, right?)
Her caring experience includes:
Bachelor of Arts in Community Health Education (University of Wisconsin-LaCross)
Masters in School Counseling (University of Wisconsin-OshKosh)
School Counselor (7+ years)
She’s counseled kids from 6th-12th grade, helping them with a range of challenges. Everything from not being invited to birthday parties to heavier topics like suicide and eating disorders. (Anyone serving in education is a saint in our book, and we’re grateful they had Jess!) Her favorite part about being there for kids as a counselor?
“Truly, I liked being a safe person for my students. A person they felt comfortable they could come and talk to.”
We know our food allergy families need this too. It’s hard when your worries or tracked symptoms are dismissed as a concerned parent. Jess understands no problem is too small, and that everything matters to you when your child lives with food allergies.
Her compassion guides every project she’s tackling. Plus, she provides wellness education to our hungry families. Having a child with food allergies changes your world, and she gets it. She’s passionate about eating healthy and supporting mental health during this challenging journey.
A Nursing Mother Who Understands & Listens To Our Community’s Needs
Jess grew up in Wisconsin and spent a lot of time outside. Hiking, camping, and being on the water made a huge impact on her, and put health and wellness on the top of her priority list.
During college in her home state of Wisconsin, she went to Vegas for a wedding, and met her now-husband Ryan there. Wildly enough, he was already enrolled in medical school in Milwaukee! They continued seeing each other when they could and attending college.
Ryan popped the question and after they got married, they ended up BACK in Vegas when he was matched for resident school (something totally random FYI). Love stories are incredible! Shortly after they were married they were blessed to find out they were pregnant.
Jess enjoyed her pregnancy, and their daughter Lydia has brought them more joy than they ever thought possible. (You get this, right?)
But also, lots of questions…
Lydia suffered from the main baby food allergy symptoms, and even had a skin reaction immediately after eating peanuts. Every food allergy parent knows the feeling, and Jess is right there with you.
Her own food allergy journey led her to find Dr. Trill. Lydia doesn’t have a confirmed diagnosis yet, because… Well, you know how that goes. It’s tough! Jess emphasizes with the complete and utter confusion surrounding food allergies.
3 Favorites For Jess
Hobby? Running. Motherhood put this hobby on hold for a little while but she’s so happy to be back at it. If you’re a runner, you know!
Food? She loves a good sweet potato or avocado! “Fresh, healthy foods. And I’m a sucker for baked goods, so give me a fresh cookie anytime.”
Family activity? They hike or camp every chance they get. When they visit Wisconsin, you’ll find them at her parent's lake house.
Jess’s Advice to Parents Just Finding Out Their Baby Has Food Allergies
“Trust your parent gut. Whatever you need to do for your baby, do it.”
Jess’s Motivation to Support Breastfeeding Parents Through Infant Food Allergies
“I know it’s a scary time. Your baby’s your world, and you want to do whatever you can to help them and make them feel comfortable. Remember, as the parent, you’re living this day in and day out — give yourself credit too. Not only do I want to help your baby — I want to help you, as parents.”
What Jess Wishes People Understood About Baby Food Allergies
“There can be a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s really hard when you’re going through it. Try to trust the process, and our team will help you get to the place where your family is healthy and well.”