The society teamed up with baked goods brand Promise Gluten Free to deliver 400 free food packs – which included gluten-free bread and buns – to the homes of mostly elderly people throughout Ireland.
The initiative was borne from a concern that its members would struggle to maintain a strict gluten-free diet during the lockdown.
According to the society’s CEO Gill Brennan, coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease that comes with a range of complications.
“If people with coeliac disease consume gluten they can develop symptoms such as abdominal pains, diarrhoea, anaemia or vomiting, which could require medical treatment. This would pose a risk to the individuals and put additional strain on an already under-pressure health system,” she said.
Sarah Keogh, the society’s dietitian, is hosting weekly Live Q&A sessions on how to cope with the disease during the current crisis on Facebook.
“With no ability to have group support meeting and dietetic consultations, we hope that this kind gesture will go some way to showing that we are continuing to care for their wellbeing and that they are most definitely not alone.”
She added the society is hoping to expand the initiative to include products from other manufacturers.
“We will be reaching out to other suppliers and trying to coordinate with the various community support groups to ensure that those identified as coeliac and vulnerable are catered for in the coming weeks, particularly if the restrictions continue.”