Treatment Guide

Joplin Missouri Celiacs Need Our Help!

John Libonati Gluten Free Works

Joplin Tornado Gluten Free

Photo: The Joplin Globe, Roger Nomer

People with celiac disease in Joplin, MO need our help! 

The following message was posted by Barbara Hicks, leader of the Tri Lakes Celiac Support Group in Kimberling, MO. Contact Barbara to find out how you can get involved.

Hi Everyone,

I am sure that by now you have heard about the tornado that hit Joplin.  It took out a major portion of the town including the two major grocery stores where celiacs there were able to access GF foods.   Much of the town is without electricity and due to contamination issues, their water is also contaminated.   Those that still have a home and access to water are under a boil order.

Many of these folks have also lost their jobs because of the businesses that have been destroyed in the storm. It is a difficult situation for people without food issues, let alone someone with celiac disease.

I have been in contact with the leader of the new support group there and she is one of the lucky ones who still has a home and power.  She and her husband have offered to be a contact point to hand out GF supplies to celiacs in their community.

If anyone, individual or company, would be willing to provide GF items to them for distribution, please let me know and I will provide their contact information.  She mentioned that there would be a particular need for shelf stable items that folks can keep without refrigeration/freezing and also require minimal preparation like GF bars, crackers, etc.

Some folks that have been relocated to friends or relatives homes might be able to use mixes, but not have access to safe cookware.  Maybe disposable foil pans would be a good idea if you send mixes. 

Thank you so much for your willingness to read this message and perhaps help out fellow celiacs in need.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Barbara Hicks
Tri Lakes Celiac Support Group
Kimberling City, MO

Email Barbara by clicking here!

Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached by e-mail here.

About John Libonati

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Author Information: John Libonati, SW Florida Publisher, & The Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide.


  1. There is information on a gluten-free food drive in Kansas City here:

    I am driving supplies directly to the Forest Park Church food bank on Sunday. Rita, the Celiac support group leader in Joplin, is a member of this church and they are working hard to provide a space specifically for gluten-free food.

  2. This is wonderful, count me in. :)

  3. Johnna, thanks for the information. I will take some food there too. I buy it in bulk.

  4. I am the owner of The Marvelous Food Company and all of our products are free of common allergens : Gluten, Wheat, Dairy ( casien and lactose), Soy,Nuts, Corn, Eggs, Artificial Colors/Dyes and Artificial Preservatives.

    Currently we only have 2 products a cookie and a chocolate mini-muffin. Both of which have lots of vitamins and minerals, as well as omega 3s and 6s. They also have a serving of fruits and vegtables in every serving!

    We would be happy to donate some cookies and muffins to help those with Celiac’s disease and those with other food allergies as well. Please contact me at and let me know how many you would like us to send of each and we will get started on making them and sending them your way.

    Juliette Parker
    Owner of The Marvelous Food Company

  5. The Birmingham Celiac Disease Support Group has been collecting working to collect gluten free food since tornadoes struck many of our towns also. I am happy to help whoever is coordinating this for Joplin, as I have already been working to contact manufacturerers. Call me at (205)542-6165

    We have been trying to contact everyone who needs a gluten free diet for celiac disease, gluten intolerance, people with conditions such as autism or MS, and those who have peanut allergies — there are no safe shelters or food lines for these people!!

  6. There is updated information at Please visit the website and contact Rita, who is doing an amazing job for the gluten-free folks in Joplin and is overseeing food pantries at the Forest Park Baptist Church and in her own dining room (super generous lady!). Rita is on top of what is needed at the present time. Thanks!

  7. Our support group Gluten & Allergy Free KY will be accepting donations at our next meeting to send.. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those that have lost so much.

  8. Oh I hope everyone there will be ok! I think I understand what they’re going through there because of the two huge earthquakes that destroyed my city recently… we were without water etc too. It’s hard, very hard, dealing with everything that goes with a natural disaster. I can’t send anything over, but I can recommend that you remember things like tins of lentils, beans and rice – not just baked goods. But the main foods that helped me, personally, through disaster are bacon and chocolate. It’s comfort food which helps with the mental and emotional strain, which are usually some of the hardest things to deal with after stuff like this.
    It’s people like you that make being gluten-free bearable. Keep up the good work! :)

  9. hey i was just reading my newspaper and it said that joplin is turning semi truck loads of stuff away. how can they turn it away? that is just crazy. i wonder if the people in joplin know this is happening? it says to contact someone and set up a website and the people will get on the website and register for the stuff. hello people what computers are these people supposed to use? they have lost everything. i just thought i would share what i read with you all.

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