• Alexa

The End of Halloween

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.