The Teal Pumpkin Project comes to Florida this Halloween


We think of Halloween as a very orange-colored holiday, between the pumpkins and the candy corn.

But this year, you may spot a few teal-colored pumpkins in your neighborhood.

The Teal Pumpkin Project is a growing part of Halloween, and it’s a visual way to encourage families to hand out some non-food items to children with food allergies.

One in 13 children now has a food allergy, and according to FARE, (Food Allergy Research & Education) many of the kids coming to your door reciting “trick or treat” will be allergic to some of the goodies you hand out.

Non-food treats for kids can include glow sticks, pencils/pens/markers, stickers, bubbles, erasers, mini slinkees, bouncy balls, bookmarks, and spider rings sold at dollar stores and the like.

A teal-painted pumpkin on your front porch alerts parents with kids who have a food allergy that you have such items at the ready on Halloween night.

Participants who don’t have time to paint a pumpkin teal can print out a free sign from FARE’s website, and place it outside their home as an indicator that their house is a safe place for kids with food allergies to trick-or-treat.

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected].


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