Jericho HS sophomore starts nonprofit to help restaurants protect those with food allergies
A Jericho High School student is recruiting Long Island restaurants to become more allergy-friendly.
Casey Dubofsky, 16, says she is "very cautious" about tree nut and fish allergies because of an incident she had when she was a child.
When Dubofsky was 3, she had a life-threatening reaction to tree nuts in a cookie she ate at a restaurant. At the time, her parents had no idea she had an allergy and no one had an EpiPen.
"My daughter's throat was closing, she was screaming, and it was very scary," says Casey Dubofsky's father, Ned Dubofsky.
Casey Dubofsky started a nonprofit called "Safe Eats," through which she recruits restaurants from across Nassau County to opt into a program that trains their staff on how to use EpiPens.
The cost of EpiPens became a problem--so Casey Dubofsky reached out to her county legislator for help.
"We're going to create a $25,000 pilot program through the Department of Health to give restaurants these EpiPens," says Legislator Josh Lafazan.
If Lafazan's bill passes in Nassau County, it would reimburse the restaurants for the cost of the EpiPen.
Chris and Tony's Restaurant in Syosset is one of 12 restaurants to sign up for the program so far.
"I think it's a great idea. All restaurants should do it," says Chris Fichera.
Casey Dubofsky says the program would give her some peace of mind and be "life-changing."