AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — Wegmans food drive for families with food allergies has officially kicked off.

It’s the first year the company is hosting a drive like this and they’re partnering with the Buffalo Bills.

There are several displays of allergen-friendly foods around all Wegmans stores right now.

Customers can choose an item from the display, buy it, and place it in the collection box after checkout. All donations will be given to Feed More Western New York, which will distribute the items to different food pantries.

The idea for the drive comes from Bills coach Sean McDermott and his wife Jamie, whose children have food allergies.

It can be even more challenging for food-insecure families to gain access to allergen-friendly foods.

The drive collects items free of the big eight food allergies as well as gluten and dairy free items.

Food allergies affect 32 million Americans.

There is no cure and reactions can be unpredictable.

Wegmans corporate nutrition manager Trish Kazacos said it’s important for everyone to understand when allergens are present in food.

“Knowing that to have safe foods sometimes those come at a cost to make sure the ingredients are sourced, produced, and presented in a way that is safe. It’s important to make sure we have safe foods available for anyone in need,” she said.

Wegmans works to offer a wide variety of allergen-free foods and labels any allergens in foods using the wellness and allergen keys on each box.

Wegmans spokesperson Michele Mehaffy said they hope to make an impact with this new initiative.

“It can be challenging for families who have certain allergy requirements for food to access those foods in their local food pantries so this is the perfect way to help out those in need who require those special dietary needs.”

The drive runs through May 21.