The Roslyn area has many young mothers who have chosen to stay at home and raise their children. At the same time, many of these women have chosen not to be homemakers only. Many of us have chosen to dedicate what little spare time we have to worthy nonprofits, whether running one or being an integral part in fundraising.
One example of this is Roslyn resident Deborah Yadegari. She attended Barnard University for her undergraduate degree and then received her juris doctorate at George Washington Law School. Starting out as a corporate securities attorney at prestigious Wall Street firm Fried Frank, she then moved in house at Lehman Brothers doing investment banking law. In 2005, she had her first child, Samara, who is now nine. She took a maternity leave, then an extended leave, and then found she couldn’t go back. In the years since, she’s had Zachary, 8, Daniella, 6 and Evan, who is 4.
With her first three kids, she was always extremely sensitive to the fact that other kids had food allergies. She would always ask what she could bring in that was safe. She always attended an annual luncheon hosted by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), who work on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, as a show of support to her friends and their children with allergies.
“It wasn’t until Evan was diagnosed with food allergies that it really rocked my world,” said Yadegari. “FARE is the only food allergy organization trying to get the message across. The government does not fund food allergies the way it does other diseases.”
This, despite that fact that according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, peanut allergies quadrupled in the United States leading between 1997 and 2010, and are the leading cause of death-related to food allergy in the country. As a result, many day care centers, schools and summer camps enforce no peanut policies.
Yadegari feels that food allergies don’t pull at peoples heart strings the same way as more-researched diseases, such as diabetes, and that those unaffected can view peanut-allergy contingencies as an inconvenience. Subsequently, the Yadegari family created their own team for the 2014 FARE Walk For Food Allergy called Evan’s Allergy Avengers and raised $5,000 for the organization. This became the impetus for a company Yadegari’s created called No Nutz Granola, which offers nut-free, soy-free and dairy-free granola for those with (or without) various food allergies. A percentage of the proceeds go to FARE.
“I started No Nutz because there was not a single granola on the market that was completely nut-free,” said Yadegari. “Our granola is home baked with love by an allergy mom. The house is completely nut-free, and I bake and oversee every batch to make sure it is safe. Every ingredient is manufactured in a nut-free facility.”
While Yadegari is the founder and CEO, her oldest child, Samara, has been dubbed the president, and it is her mission to spread the word to help children like her little brother.
No Nutz can currently be found on Long Island in Grace’s, Holiday Farms, Bryant & Cooper and Down Dog. In Manhattan it can be found in Morton Williams and online at www.ourharvest.com. For more information on FARE, go to www.foodallergy.org.
Stephanie Cohen has both a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s degree in education. She currently works as a direct support professional for young adults with special needs and has done volunteer work for organizations such
as Let All the Children Play.