Teal Pumpkin Project provides Halloween treats for kids with food allergies

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You usually see orange pumpkins sitting by the front door of house around Halloween, but this year you might see some teal ones.

It’s called the Teal Pumpkin Project.

On Halloween, the teal pumpkin lets kids and their parents know the particular house has non-food treats– safe for those with food allergies.

“Seeing allergies and the way they affect various people, it’s nice to be mindful of including everyone,” Teal Pumpkin Project participant Karen Hartson said.

Hartson has been handing out allergy safe trinkets on Halloween for about five years.     

“It’s great to see their joy and just to see them being able to be, for lack of a better word, normal kids,” Hartson said. “They get to participate and get a treat at Halloween just like their brother and sister or their peers.”

The idea behind the fun colored pumpkins is to include all kids, like Iyali Corona’s 8-year-old son Uriah Maese.

“He has multiple food allergies,” Corona said. “You know dairy, eggs nuts, the list goes on. So every year, especially around the holidays, it’s just hard, you know, because I don’t want him to feel left out because of his food allergies.”

Uriah is just one of the many kids left with a nearly empty bag at the end of the night.

“It was really heartbreaking for me,” Corona said. “He would always be like, here brother like here’s all the candy that I can have. Brother with a big bag, and him with a little bag. That hurt, because I don’t want him to feel excluded. I just want him to feel like he’s no different.”

Corona joined the movement three years ago, giving out things like stickers and pencils. She adds a new teal pumpkin to her doorstep every year.

“It brings tears to my eyes,” Corona said. “Just seeing there is education going around and awareness, you know.”

For more information on the Teal Pumpkin Project and resources available click here. If you are on the Nextdoor app, they’ve added teal pumpkins to their treat map this year, allowing your neighbors to know you have allergy friendly treats.

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