If You See Teal Pumpkins This Halloween, This is What it Means
Halloween is fast approaching, so you’re probably seeing pumpkins with all kinds of interesting carvings and elaborate colors. Gone are the days of simple jack-o-lanterns. Pinterest has put those to shame. But if you see a teal pumpkin, it has special meaning.
Teal-colored pumpkins signify participation with and support of the Teal Pumpkin Project, an initiative started by FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), to provide children with food allergies a safe trick-or-treating experience. 
FARE Director of Communications Nancy Gregory said:
“The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect for all those managing food allergies.” 
If you spot 1 of these teal pumpkins, it means that this house is handing out non-food treats, such as pencils, stickers, bouncy balls and the like that will be safe for kids with food allergies.
The movement was started by 3 years ago by Becky Basalone, a Tennessee mom whose son has experienced anaphylaxis due to food allergies in the past.
She painted a pumpkin teal and stuck it on her front porch for the first time in 2012, and now tens of thousands of people do the same each year on trick-or-treat night.
Participating is simple, and you can still hand out candy for kids who don’t have allergies. First, obviously, paint a pumpkin teal or purchase 1 online or at a local store, and put it in front of your house. (Teal is the color for food allergy awareness.) You can also print out a free sign from the FARE website to show your involvement.
Then, take the pledge online and register your address on the official map of participating locations.
This year, FARE and Michaels Craft Stores are working together to help spread the message about the Teal Pumpkin Project and raise awareness about food allergies. If all goes according to plan, they hope there will be at least 1 teal pumpkin on every residential block in the U.S.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) statistics show food allergies affect about 8% of children. Food allergies among kids rose 18% from 1997-2007, according to a 2013 U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study. 
“Chances are, there’s at least one child in your neighborhood or right down the block that lives with a potentially life-threatening food allergy.
Participating in the campaign is a simple way of including kids with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Kids love getting a little prize or toy that they don’t have to give away because it could be harmful, and parents appreciate knowing there are homes with safe options in their neighborhood.”
 New York Post
|Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.
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