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October 27, 2017 8:43 pm

Local Woman on a Teal Pumpkin Mission

Sunday, October 16, 2016 @ 8:29 AM

tealpumpkinPrince George, B.C. – This  Halloween can be special  for all children if  local residents lend a helping hand by offering something other than  food  items to  trick or treaters.Birgit  Zorzi’s  son  has multiple food allergies,  so Halloween has become a major disappointment for him.  Unlike  most other kids,  he  can’t enjoy the  simple treats  that are the typical offering to costumed kids on Halloween.

He is not alone.

It is estimated one in 13 children  suffer from  a food allergy,  so  offering  food alternatives  is a  way to make Halloween   more  inclusive for all trick or treaters.

Zorzi is  promoting  the “Teal Pumpkin” project,  which  encourages  residents  to  offer alternative treats,  such as glow sticks,  small toys, stickers  or anything that  isn’t edible.  She says that in the past,  she has made up  goodie bags for her son and had them  dropped off at  homes in the neighbourhood  where  she and her son would then  “retrieve” on Halloween  “I thought it was a good idea and I was happy with that,  and I posted it on  Facebook to see if there were any other moms  who would be willing to pre-plant treats at each others houses  and then we could all go trick or treating together.”  She says she was  surprised  by the response “I got a huge response on my facebook , there were tons of comments and a few shares, and that got me thinking this could be something,  so I posted it to a special needs  group I belong to  and someone there  pointed out the Teal Pumpkin project.”

The Teal Pumpkin project was first launched three years ago  by a mother in the U.S. and has now been embraced and  sponsored  by the Food Allergy Research Organization. The idea  has   residents post a “Teal Pumpkin”  poster in the window, ( or paint a pumpkin  teal colour,  teal pumpkins are also available at Michael’s crafts).  The poster can be  downloaded from the Teal Pumpkin project.

“It’s not just kids with allergies” says  Zorzi “You don’t have to talk to  many teachers to know what kind of week happens  after Halloween”.  Offering  non edible treats also reduces the risk of food  tampering.

The Teal Pumpkin project also  offers an interactive map, so  parents know where Teal Pumpkin homes are located “The map allows us to see the houses  and go directly to them.  What would be really nice is if there is a handful of  houses in each neighbourhood so nobody has to get into their cars and drive  around.”

Right now, there are only  a couple of Prince George  Teal Pumpkin homes  identified on the interactive map, but Zorzi  hopes the momentum will build “It’s been a great response,  so  another mom  in Prince George,  has started a facebook group called “PG Halloween Houses that Offer Non Food Items“.  People are posting their addresses, and it’s  gaining  with  quick momentum.”  She says   the  group has grown from 4 to  a 100 in  just a couple of days.




Great Idea….

Not related to the story, but we grew a blue (teal) pumpkin in our garden this year, it went into a pie for thanksgiving dinner.

I like the idea of considering those kids who might have food allergies,
way to go!


I think the bigger question hers is why do 1 in 13 kids have food allergies? Something in the water? etc.

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