It’s the Teal Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Patrice Gomez

The Halloween season has begun, and what is Halloween without pumpkins? There are the traditional orange, brown, white, and black pumpkins, but there is another color that will appear again this year: teal. This new color is a symbol for The Teal Pumpkin Project.

 In 2014, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) came up with this campaign in order to promote safety for children who may have certain allergies to gluten, soy, peanuts, etc. As a solution, FARE told people to paint a pumpkin teal to show that their houses are giving out non-allergenic treats. “Putting a teal pumpkin on your doorstep means you have non-food treats available, such as glow sticks and small toys,” says the FARE website “This simple act promotes inclusion for trick-or-treaters with food allergies and other conditions.”  The purpose is to create a safer environment by informing parents that the people are not giving out candy but alternates such as Halloween bracelets, erasers, paper goods, and other non-foods. This is a good idea for parents and trick-or-treaters who may have food allergies. This way, they know what the house has to offer. 

Although the campaign was created almost three years ago, more and more people have been participating. According to the website, about 18,000 households from across the U.S. participated last Halloween. It is nice to know that the project is making Halloween safer for people.  A new feature for this year’s Halloween is that people can sign up on the website and place their house on a map of teal pumpkins. That way, families can see which places will be giving out non-allergenic treats.

Several stores such as Target and Michaels are promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project by placing the teal pumpkins right by the other artificial and real pumpkins. For those who want to spice it up, you do not have to paint the entire pumpkin teal — there are multiple creative ways to snazz up your teal pumpkin. You can find some creative ideas on Pinterest, too. Or, for those who wish to give candy and help out with the project, there is a donation fund to support the cause.

Multiple parents have promoted this project and have expressed strong opinions about how much of a positive effect this has had for people on Halloween. Chicago Tribune reporter Stephanie Kush interviewed Erin Sabinski, who promoted the project in Frankfort. “We’ve participated for the past few years,” said Sabinski. “For parents and kids worrying about participating in Halloween, I know your fear. It can almost seem debilitating, but honestly, this project is a sweet reminder that there are not only people like you, but also people who are willing to help.”

 Whether you are making your community more allergy-friendly or are not a big fan of candy, it is important to know that the main concern of the project is to make Halloween safer for all people.