Food Allergy Research & Education Encourages Inclusion on Halloween Through the Teal Pumpkin Project®
Annual Awareness Campaign Embraced by Communities Nationwide
McLEAN, VA. (Oct. 26, 2016) –Halloween traditions and festivities throughout the country now have a touch of teal to complement the traditional orange and black, thanks to the Teal Pumpkin Project®, an awareness campaign from Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) that helps create a happier and safer Halloween for children with food allergies.
The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety and inclusion for kids with food allergies and other dietary restrictions by encouraging households to display a teal pumpkin to indicate that non-food treats are available. One in 13 children in the U.S. has a food allergy, a potentially life-threatening disease that can be particularly difficult to navigate on Halloween.
In its third year as a national campaign, the Teal Pumpkin Project has continued to grow in popularity and has become a new tradition for thousands of families as well as a conversation starter on the topic of food allergy. Teal pumpkins have been incorporated into Halloween celebrations at zoos, shopping malls and theme parks from coast to coast, community service projects and classroom activities as well as tens of thousands of homes.
“This campaign provides a great opportunity for communities to show their support of kids with food allergies who typically cannot enjoy trick-or-treating in the same way that their friends do,” said Lois A. Witkop, Chief Advancement Officer at FARE. “As a result of the Teal Pumpkin Project, more Americans are recognizing that food allergies are very serious and have a major impact on a child’s quality of life.”
For the last two weeks, actor August Maturo of “Girl Meets World” has been encouraging his fans and followers on social media to participate in the first Teal Pumpkin Project® Contest. Hundreds of photos of whimsical, beautiful teal pumpkins were submitted on social media channels, with one winner earning a special prize pack designed to help them pull off a happy and inclusive Halloween. Known as Auggie, the 9-year-old actor is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame and coconut.
So far this year, FARE has reached more than 6.3 million people on its social media channels with messages, videos and resources related to the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project is simple:
- Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters
- Paint a pumpkin teal or buy a teal pumpkin at your local craft store or pharmacy, or print a free sign from www.tealpumpkinproject.org
- Place your teal pumpkin or sign in front of your home to indicate non-food treats are available.
The Teal Pumpkin Project has attracted supporters from all 50 states as well as internationally. The campaign was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee.
This year, a number of national retail partners are supporting this important initiative, making it easier than ever for people to participate.
Halloween is just a few days away, but it’s not too late to get involved. Visit FARE’s website for resources, including:
- ideas for non-food treats,
- free downloads such as official Teal Pumpkin Project signs, fliers, stencils and stickers,
- an online crowd-sourced map that shows households participating
For more information about the Teal Pumpkin Project, including a link of corporate supporters and nonprofit partners, visit www.tealpumpkinproject.org. For more information about food allergies, visit www.foodallergy.org.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) works on behalf of the 15 million Americans with food allergies, including all those at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis. This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children in the U.S. – or roughly two in every classroom. FARE’s mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. Our work is organized around three core tenets: LIFE – support the ability of individuals with food allergies to live safe, productive lives with the respect of others through our education and advocacy initiatives; HEALTH – enhance the healthcare access of individuals with food allergies to state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment; and HOPE – encourage and fund research in both industry and academia that promises new therapies to improve the allergic condition. For more information, please visit www.foodallergy.org and find us on Twitter@FoodAllergy, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest.