The Teal Pumpkin Project

Emily Peck

One night a year, children dress up and walk around their neighborhoods to trick-or-treat. For most children this is an exciting experience, as they get to dress up in fun costumes and are given free candy. However, there are many children who cannot enjoy this experience like other children do. Children with food allergies, eating tubes, celiac disease, and specific diets may not be able to eat the candy they are being given. The Teal Pumpkin Project was created by a man named Basalone, in an effort to combat this issue.


Basalone was the director of a food allergy support group in Tennessee. As the leader of a food allergy support group, he understood how children felt about being left out of the fun of trick-or-treating, or being given candy that they knew they wouldn’t be able to eat. In the fall of 2012, he decided he wanted to find a solution to this problem so that children who could not eat candy could still enjoy trick-or-treating. His solution was to fill one of the pumpkins he used for giving out candy with non-food items, like small toys. He painted this pumpkin teal, which is the color used to represent food-related health issues. When children saw this teal colored pumpkin, they knew that they could get something that they could use, rather than something they would have had to give or throw away. 

This project is very important to the families with children who have food allergies, because they know that their children will be safe when trick-or-treating. Buying a few non-food items to hand out during trick-or-treating could make someone’s Halloween more exciting and enjoyable.