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  • Alexa

The End of Halloween

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Somehow Thursday is Halloween.

It will be my first Halloween not trick-or-treating. I went during my first two years during college because at the end of the night who wouldn't want to take unsafe candy from my bag. I always let my friends and fellow trick-or-treaters take whatever they want from my collection because with my food allergies there seemed to be more unsafe candies than safe ones.

When I arrived home I would let my parents take what they wanted and we would donate the rest. Sometimes if there were any safe ones I could have I would eat it, but usually I just ate the candy that I know came straight from the grocery store and wasn't in a bag mixed with unsafe ones.

Halloween was never really exciting for me. As a child the purpose of walking around to different houses and having to be brave enough to say "Trick-or-Treat" to be given something that could hurt, even kill me didn't make all that much sense. Other than the fact that everyone else was doing it and I wanted to fit in. So each year I put on a costume, went trick or treating and sometimes even attended Halloween parties.

Where I live we don't get any trick-or-treaters, so I would almost always go to other neighborhoods to trick-or-treat. Where I was trick-or-treating seemed to change every year and it wasn't more exciting until the Teal Pumpkin Project came into existence.

This project gives households the opportunity to provide safe non-food treats and let trick-or-treaters know by displaying a teal pumpkin.

Once Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) started the Teal Pumpkin Project Halloween became like a scavenger hunt for me. I would keep count of the few the houses that were participating and would explain to those at each door how I went basically my whole childhood collecting candy I didn't eat.

In 2014 when the Teal Pumpkin Project started I was in high school. And for the first time I felt like Halloween could be something that I wouldn't have to pretend to enjoy anymore. There was a new purpose to it that was inclusive and exciting.

For me Halloween has ended because I won't be trick-or-treating anymore and there aren't any trick-or-treaters coming to my neighborhood for me to give out non-food treats to. However, my support of the Teal Pumpkin Project will never end, as I believe everyone trick- or-treating with food allergies deserves to feel included.

For more information to get involved in the Teal Pumpkin Project click here.


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