To raise autism awareness, Earth Fare will host numerous activities Saturday.
A wheat and dairy-free lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. inside the organic market at 368 Furys Ferry Road. The cost is $6 per plate.
"Our lunch is actually going to be sort of geared towards children," said event coordinator Casey Fay.
The menu consists of wheat-free chicken tenders, dairy-free macaroni and cheese, black pepper and lime fries, roasted vegetables and gluten-free cookies.
"A lot of kids that have autism have specific food allergies," said Fay, also Earth Fare's health and body care manager. "The primary one is to gluten. Gluten is a component of wheat."
Customers that stop by the Martinez grocer before Saturday can enter their names in a raffle to win four free lunch plates, she added.
In addition to the allergy-sensitive lunch, guests can register for various raffles. The money collected from each raffle will benefit the Walk for Autism this month at the Augusta Riverwalk. Also, speech and occupational therapists will be available to answer questions, and Carly Heyman, author of My Extra Special Brother , will be on hand to sign copies of her book.
Fay said she hopes the event will provide comfort and answers for parents of autistic children.
"I want the parents to be able to come away from it understanding that there are other people out there going through this," she said, "and that there are people there for support."
Five percent of Earth Fare's sales that day will be donated to the Walk for Autism.
"I have two children with autism myself, and the real purpose, in my head, is obviously to raise awareness," Fay said, "but also, a big part of it is the donation to the Walk for Autism."
Giving children and adults with autism and certain allergies a normal lunch is another main goal of the event.
"A lot of times when you have a child that has allergies or has autism, you can't go to a regular restaurant and get a meal, so we also want to provide that," she said.
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