Halloween is fast approaching and those trick-or-treating or handing out candy may come across some teal or blue pumpkins at doorsteps.
The pumpkins signify different things and serve as a way to make the spooky holiday inclusive for all ghosts and goblins who are out that night.
But the color is more than just a simple decoration—it’s a symbol. A teal pumpkin means that the homeowner has non-food treats available, such as glow sticks or small toys, for children with food allergies or other conditions.
The Teal Pumpkin project started at a local FACET event in 2013 and took off quickly afterward thanks to social media. This year over 33,000 houses have listed their homes or businesses on a searchable Teal Pumpkin map, though Lisa Gable, CEO of Food Allergy Research & Education, a national non-profit helping to promote Teal Pumpkin, says she expects the number of people participating is much higher.
Approximately 1 in 13 children in the U.S. has a food allergy, according to foodallergy.org. That makes Halloween—usually a joyful experience—tough for a lot of trick-or-treaters, whose life-threatening allergies prevent them from enjoying much of the candy available.
“One in 13 children has a food allergy,” Gable said. These kids often face problems with bullying. “It’s a complex disease that causes a great deal of stress for kids and parents,” says Gable. “Teal Pumpkin can make [Halloween] stress-free.”
More details of this story from AWM:
On the FARE website, you can add your house to the interactive map if you want to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween. According to the FARE website, “By adding your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project Map, you are making your house easy to find for those on the hunt for non-food treats. The more houses added to the Map, the more inclusive (and therefore more fun) we can make Halloween!”
You can also find resources for how to get started with the initiative and what kind of non-food treats you can offer.
If you would like to learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project or join the movement, then please visit their website for more information. Trick-or-treaters will definitely appreciate your involvement in making Halloween fun and inclusive for everyone!
So, the next time you see a teal pumpkin on someone’s porch this Halloween, now you know why it’s there! And, if you have a child with food allergies, this is a great way for them to be able to enjoy trick-or-treating just like everyone else. Be sure to look for homes participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project and make your Halloween a safe and fun one for all!
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