A teal pumpkin on Halloween lets kids know they'll be receiving non-food treats, such as toys or stickers, so children with food allergies can trick-or-treat, too.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is back for a second year.
What teal pumpkins mean to trick-or-treaters
Placing a teal pumpkin on your doorstep is all about raising awareness about food allergies. A teal pumpkin lets trick-or-treaters know they’ll be receiving non-food treats, such as toys, stickers, souvenirs, and more.
McLEAN, VA – Halloween can be a tricky time for children and families managing life-threatening food allergies. That’s why Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is asking people to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project™ this fall, showing their support for the nearly 6 million children in the U.S. – and millions more worldwide – with food allergies.
Place a teal pumpkin, the color of food allergy awareness, in front of your home to indicate non-food treats are available. Participating households may opt to print a free sign from FARE if they do not have a pumpkin, or make a donation and receive a “Proud Supporter” window cling (while supplies last).
In 2014, the inaugural Teal Pumpkin Project™ attracted supporters from 50 states and seven countries. This year, FARE is aiming for an even bigger impact with a goal of 100,000 households pledging to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project™. Taking the Teal Pumpkin Project™ pledge on FARE’s website is a simple gesture that shows support, empathy and respect for individuals with food allergy.
“Food allergy is a life-altering and potentially life-threatening disease affecting 1 in 13 children in the U.S. Pledging to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project™ is an easy and tangible way to make a big difference for children in your community who are living with food allergies or other conditions that mean candy isn’t an option,” said Veronica LaFemina, vice president of communications at FARE. “The Teal Pumpkin Project™ is already an international movement with thousands of households participating. We are thrilled to see so many households and families joining in this positive effort to create a safer, happier Halloween for all.”
Halloween can present a number of challenges for individuals and families managing food allergies because many popular candies include the most common allergens. In addition, different sizes of the same candy can use different ingredients, and smaller sizes of some candies that are popular during this time of year do not always have clear labels stating their ingredients.
“Last year, the Teal Pumpkin Project became a new family tradition,” said Elizabeth Moreno, of Beaverton, Ore. “We love that it includes all kids and sparks conversations that help educate people who might not learn about serious food allergies otherwise. Best of all, it makes my son with multiple food allergies feel empowered.”
Tracy Amin, a Seattle-based mother of two children who do not have food allergies, heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project™ last year from a friend who posted about it on social media.
“I decided to turn this great idea into a lesson in empathy – what does it mean to have a food allergy?” Amin said. “My kids had very little knowledge about food allergies, so after some research, we learned a lot as we sat down to paint our pumpkin teal. We are happy and so excited to support the campaign again this year, and are even planning a Teal Pumpkin Party!”
The Teal Pumpkin Project™ was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee. In 2014, the international campaign reached 7 million people on social media.
FARE has a number of resources to help individuals and families get involved, including: