Alice Eldridge Summerville
October 11, 2015

I admit, even at my age, I love Halloween. I’ve been known to sit on my front porch in my witchy garb to personally greet each trick or treater. You can almost feel the excitement from the kids: they adore their costumes and the simple act of going trick or treating. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be someone who cannot participate due to severe food allergies.

That’s why I got excited when I read about a project that was started last year – the Teal Pumpkin Project. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) web site, the Teal Pumpkin Project began as a way to raise awareness of allergies and “promote inclusion” of all trick or treaters during Halloween. Placing a teal painted pumpkin by your door alerts trick or treaters that you have alternative goodies for those suffering from allergies that cannot have normal candy. We did a little research for candy that is free of the top eight to 10 food allergens so that our readers that want to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project can be prepared.

FARE even offers a Teal Pumpkin Project Trick-or-Treat Goodie Bag. It's filled with lots of the non-food treats they recommend. Order before October 15, and you'll have it in time for Halloween.

If you want to participate, sign the Teal Pumpkin Pledge. Look for other non-food treats (stickers, pencils, latex-free bouncy balls) at craft stores and general merchandise stores. Hang a Teal Pumpkin Project sign or paint your pumpkin teal, then hand out your allergy-free treats to anyone who darkens your doorstep. On October 31st you will find me, a teal pumpkin, and allergen-free candy waiting on all the ghouls and goblins.

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