Harlingen Students Promoting Teal Pumpkin Project

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HARLINGEN – Students in Harlingen are working to give children with food allergies a fun and safe Halloween.

Kristen Phillips and her students at the Harlingen School of Health Professions are promoting the Teal Pumpkin Project. Her students explained houses with teal pumpkins on the porch indicate there are other snacks or toys available to children who have food allergies.

"It brings a lot of hope to kids who are usually at home on Halloween and can't do anything about it, because their food allergies block them from having fun,” said student Trinity Hernandez.

Phillips said, “It actually started in east Tennessee, where they had a lot of food allergy accidents.”

The Harlingen CISD students said they know how food allergies can make a difference in somebody's life.

"I remember that I had to give away my candy to my parents that had peanut butter or strawberries, since I was allergic to it,” recalled student Noah Martinez.

Hernandez also had a first-hand encounter with the effects of food allergies. Her family was handing out peanut bars, when a trick-or-treater ate a bar and had an allergic reaction. “They started breaking out in hives and started itching. And my mom had to call the paramedics,” she said.

Phillips told us the project was a great match for the campus. “Because our school colors are teal, we felt like this is really given to us,” she said. “We wanted to pick it up this year and spread it definitely district-wide, if not further."

The students printed out leaflets that give more details about food allergies. They hope the project will allow children with allergies to enjoy the holiday.

“They can still have that moment and be out with their families and not miss out on those special opportunities,” said student Olivia Lopez.

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