CFI Crowdfunding Opportunity

Dec. 1, 2020
Kevin Kowalcyk

A Message from Barb Kowalcyk, the Director of the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention:

On December 10th, my son Kevin Kowalcyk should be celebrating his 22nd birthday, but he isn't. In 2001, at age 2 1/2, Kevin became one of the estimated 3,000 people to die each year in the United States from foodborne illness (Kevin’s story). For the past nineteen years, I have devoted my career to preventing others from getting sick or dying from contaminated food and promoting stronger food safety policies and practices that protect public health. To advance these efforts, I co-founded the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) in 2006 with my mom, Pat Buck. In 2017, we moved CFI to The Ohio State University where I am faculty. At the same time, we started an endowment for CFI to ensure it’s long-term sustainability.

As you may be aware, today is Giving Tuesday – “a global generosity movement to unleash the power of people to transform their communities and the world” ( In honor of Kevin’s 22nd birthday, we launched a crowdfunding campaign for CFI through OSU this morning: Funds raised will go towards CFI’s endowment and will support our efforts to transform communities and the world by improving food safety and preventing unnecessary illnesses and deaths from foodborne disease. Throughout the campaign – which ends December 31 – I will be highlighting the great work we have done over the past year.

Please consider sharing this campaign with your social networks and/or making a donation to the campaign. Our goal is to raise $5,000 – last year we raised over $8,000 but understand that things are quite different this year. We would greatly appreciate any support you can provide – even $5 makes a difference! Together we can support CFI’s mission to advance a more scientific, risk-based food safety system that prevents these illnesses and protects public health by translating science into policy and practice – and transform the world.