Applaud Campaign to Make Trick-or-Treating Safer for Children with Food Allergies


Target: James M. Barker, Jr., Food Allergy Research and Education

Goal: Applaud non-profit for helping children with food allergies enjoy a safe Halloween

For parents of children with food allergies, Halloween can be a frightening holiday for a whole different set of reasons. A growing issue for both food safety and public health, food allergies are of particular concern come Halloween. Six of the eight foods responsible for 90 percent of food allergies, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts, are common ingredients in many packaged sweets. For Halloween 2014, however, the Teal Pumpkin Project sought to make trick-or-treating safer and stress-free for children with food allergies and their families.

Food allergies happen when different foods trigger an allergic reaction, causing the body’s immune system to attack itself. This reaction can result in symptoms ranging from hives on the skin to restriction of the airways due to anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. According to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three to four percent of children in the United States are affected by food allergies.

Launched by the non-profit Food Allergy Research and Education, the new campaign encouraged households to offer non-food treats in addition to the traditional fare of candy in order to accommodate trick-or-treaters with food allergies or other dietary restrictions. Households providing these alternative treats could indicate their food allergy-friendly status by placing a teal pumpkin outside their house. Such treats include inexpensive options like small glow sticks, stickers, or crayons, which have the added benefit of being healthier than handfuls upon handfuls of candy.

By signing this petition below, you can applaud this forward-thinking campaign that allows more children to celebrate Halloween without the stress of possible allergies getting in the way.


Dear Dr. Barker,

I am writing to applaud you and your non-profit organization, Food Allergy Research and Education, for your forward-thinking work with the Teal Pumpkin Project, the campaign to make Halloween safer for trick-or-treaters with food allergies.

By encouraging households to give out non-food “treats” instead of the usual candy, you are both raising awareness of this growing food safety and public health concern and helping more children and their families enjoy this holiday free of stress. In suggesting alternative treats like glow sticks or crayons, your efforts have also provided a way to make Halloween celebrations more creative as well as more healthful. I thank you for your leadership and wish you the best of luck in all your future projects.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Beeky via

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