The Teal Pumpkin Project

the-teal-pumpkin-project

Keeping Halloween Safe

Becky’s two sons pose with their “Tricks” and “Treats” bowls. Photo courtesy of blog.foodallergy.org

Becky’s two sons pose with their “Tricks” and “Treats” bowls. Photo courtesy of blog.foodallergy.org

What’s the first thing you think about when you think Halloween? Pumpkins? Costumes? Trick-or-Treating? Candy?

What if your child couldn’t eat candy? That would take away a HUGE chunk of Halloween.

This was the problem Becky Basalone, a mom in Tennessee, faced in 2012. At a local Trunk-or-Treat event sponsored by her local food allergy group FACET, she offered non-food treats out of her car’s trunk. After the event, she moved her teal decorated pumpkin to her front porch and offered the remainder of her non-food items to trick-or-treaters on Halloween along with her big bowl of candy. It was a hit! The following year, she pitched the idea to FACET and together, they made it a community wide campaign to spread awareness about kids with food allergies.

The idea caught the attention of other FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) affiliated groups on social media, and soon the idea had gone nation wide.

Today, FARE products supporting The Teal Pumpkin Project can be purchased everywhere from Target to Party City and Oriental Trading Company to our local Festival Foods.

So how can you get involved?

Click to buy from foodallergy.org

Click to buy from foodallergy.org

Purchase some non-food items to hand out to trick-or-treaters
Fill a bowl with stickers, stampers, pencils, glow bracelets or practically anything non-food or latex based. Let kids pick between a traditional candy treat or non-food treat! You can find more ideas here.

Let trick-or-treaters know you offer non-food treats.
The traditional way to let trick-or-treaters know is to paint a pumpkin teal and place it on your front porch. If you don’t feel crafty, you can buy a teal pumpkin or simply print out a sign and tape it to your front door.

Click to buy from FoodAllergy.org

Click to buy from FoodAllergy.org

Register your house online
Go to FoodAllergy.org and register your house. This lets parents plan out a trick-or-treating route that works for their child. You can even include what kind of non-food treat you’ll be offering

Spread the word!
This initiative is so new, most people have never heard of it! Ask your friends and neighbors to participate. Post a sign on the bulletin board at work. Put a sign in your front yard. I found some window decals at Festival Foods and put them in my car windows. (I cut off the top that said “Non Food Treats Available Here”.)

My daughter is part of the 1 in 13 kids in the US with a food allergy. This initiative is such a huge relief! I can safely take her out into the world on a night made for kids. She too can now feel included and not “different”. If you see my White Explorer on the road, and you support The Teal Pumpkin Project, please honk at me!

 

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