Why the Teal Pumpkin Project matters and how to participate – NBC Los Angeles

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a national effort to make Halloween safer for kids with food allergies and other medical conditions.

The project was first launched in 2012 by a local food allergy group in Tennessee before Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) expanded it to all 50 states.

Why are Teal Pumpkins important?

Many of the popular Halloween candies contain nuts, milk, egg, soy or wheat, which are among the most common food allergies. Unlike food intolerances, food allergies can cause potentially life-threatening reactions.

One in 13 children in the U.S. has a potentially life-threatening food allergy, according to research conducted by FARE. That’s the equivalent of about two kids in every classroom.

“Last year was such a great success and, this year, together, we will reach even more families across the nation, spreading awareness about food allergies and creating a sense of belonging during cherished celebrations,” FARE CEO Sung Poblete, said in a statement. “By combining our efforts, we will make a meaningful difference in the lives of the 85 million Americans who are affected by food allergies and intolerances.”

How can anyone participate?

Place a teal-colored pumpkin outside on your porch or doorstep to signify that you have non-food or allergen-free treats in addition to or in place of traditional candy.

If you’re offering both, make sure to place the candy in a separate container.

If your child has food allergies, get them a teal-colored treat bucket.

Follow these candy safety tips from the Food and Drug Administration to keep your loved ones safe this Halloween.

What’s different this year?

FARE is once again inviting families to add their house to the Teal Pumpkin Project neighborhood map to make it easy for those looking for non-food treats.

CVS Pharmacy is providing an even wider assortment of 100+ non-food treats in over 7,000 stores nationwide and online this Halloween season, with many items under $5.

FARE is also providing free downloadable Teal Pumpkin Project signs for those who want to participate. Just print out this PDF.

Where can I find non-food treats?

Head to CVS pharmacy, the exclusive retail partner of the Teal Pumpkin Project for the second year in a row.

To further help shoppers identify allergy-friendly items, CVS will highlight Teal Pumpkin offerings with customers through in-store signage.

“Our partnership with FARE has made it possible to accommodate the needs of every child and foster inclusive celebrations, while also bringing awareness to the important mission of FARE,” says Brian Eason, Vice President of General Merchandise and Consumables, at CVS Health.

You can also find items at your local Dollar Tree, Target, party supply store or anywhere that sells low-cost toys and trinkets. For an extra festive touch, choose items that fit the Halloween theme or colors.

Here’s a list of ideas:

  • Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
  • Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
  • Fun erasers or pencil toppers
  • Bubbles
  • Mini Slinkies
  • Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
  • Bouncy balls
  • Finger puppets
  • Plastic spider rings
  • Vampire fangs
  • Monster fingers
  • Mini notepads
  • Playing cards
  • Bookmarks
  • Stickers
  • Stencils
  • Mini Play-doh
  • Mardi-gras beads
  • Finger skateboard
  • Slime or silly putty
  • Cat ears
  • Masks
  • Stamps
  • Novelty glasses
  • Pop-Its

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