AP NEWS

What are the Teal Pumpkins?

October 11, 2017

Some parents around the nation are adding teal-colored pumpkins to their doorsteps to help include children with food allergies in Halloween festivities.

The nonprofit Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) group launched the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014 to raise awareness about food allergies and to let trick-or-treaters know which houses are offering non-food treats. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 4 percent to 6 percent of children in the United States are affected by food allergies, and some reactions can be life-threatening.

For these kids, navigating the usual Halloween treats could be tricky, to say the least.

Over the past three years, the Teal Pumpkin Project has spread across the country, thanks largely to social media, Nancy Gregory, the senior director of communications for FARE, told ABC News.

“We continue to see the campaign grow and the feedback from then to today has always been overwhelmingly positive from both people in and out of the food allergy community,” Gregory said. “In 2014, we created a participation map where people could add a pin to show where their participating homes were located in the community. Each year, the number of homes has grown and in 2016 we saw a nearly 80 percent increase in the number of people who added their pins to the map.”

FARE suggests that families who want to participate swap out traditional Halloween candy for inexpensive toys and other non-food treats such as glow sticks. The group sells starter kits on their website and offers free printable posters for those wishing to participate as well.