“Girl Meets World” Star August Maturo has teamed up with Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the US’s leading nonprofit organization serving over 15 million Americans who live with food allergies. Over the next year, the young actor will work with FARE on multiple awareness and education initiatives, including the Teal Pumpkin Project®. Which helps to make Halloween safer for kids with food allergies.
Through his large Twitter and Instagram following, August has the power to educate hundreds of thousands of children and adults about food allergies. This fall he will serve as the National Captain of Team Teal Pumpkin, which encourages families to paint their pumpkins teal, and place them on their doorsteps, indicating that there are non-food treats available for kids with food allergies or other dietary restrictions.
iaam: What is the best part of being on the ‘Girl Meets World’ TV show? Would you like to share your funniest memory from the show?
August Maturo: The best part was we all became a family. We love each other so much. It's hard to pick a funniest memory because funny things happened every day. I really loved when Ben would tackle me on the couch and tickle me.
iaam: How excited are you to be a guest star on “The Odd Couple" for their Halloween episode? What is your role about?
August: I'm so excited! The show was so much fun and everyone was so nice to me. My role is a little boy named Simon who lives in the building. He's like a mini Felix, smart and nerdy.
iaam: When did you start having allergies? What foods are you allergic to?
August: I've had allergies my whole life, but I didn't find out about them until I was 3 years old when I ate a cashew. I started to choke and gag, and I threw up. I went to the hospital. I'm allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, coconut, and sunflower.
iaam: How do you cope with stress which comes with having allergies? Do you check food labels of everything you eat?
August: Yes we check everything; I have to always be careful. I always carry my epinephrine auto injector everywhere I go. As long as I'm prepared and careful I don't stress.
iaam: What do you do to overcome food allergies when you go to restaurants and parties?
August: At parties, my mom always brings food that I can eat, with enough to share for everyone. She always packs safe snacks for me too. When I go to restaurants we let the chef know about my food allergies.
iaam: When did you get involved with The Food Allergy Research and Education Organization (FARE)? What about their mission do you like the most?
August: We got involved this year and I'm so excited. I love that they are bringing awareness about food allergies to people, and I'm happy I can use my social media following to help bring awareness too. I love that they help support research to help find a cure.
iaam: What is FARE trying to accomplish with Teal Pumpkin Project? What is the fun part of the project for you?
August: The Teal Pumpkin Project is a way to help people include food allergic children in the Halloween fun. There are so many kids allergic to ingredients in candy, and there are some kids who have disabilities who can't eat at all. If people put out a teal pumpkin on their doorstep, and offer non food treats like toys, glow sticks, or stickers, then all kids can feel included. I'm the national team captain which is so exciting for me!
iaam: What are fun traditions your family has for Halloween? What is the best part of Halloween for you?
August: A fun tradition is thinking of a family costume that we all can wear together when we go to charity events. One year we were all monkeys, last year we dressed as The Incredibles, this year we were all skeletons! The best part of Halloween is all of the fun parties!
iaam: Do you know what are you going to be this Halloween?
August: I'm going to be Pikachu! My little brother Ocean is going to be Charizard.
iaam: Who is your favorite Super Hero?
iaam: What is your favorite TV show and all time favorite movie?
August: Right now my favorite show is a YouTube show called Daily Bumps. I'm going to be in Bryan Lanning's music video - out this week! My favorite movie of all time is Wizard of Oz.
iaam: Food allergies affect 15 million Americans and 1 in 13 children are living with this disease. What are your tips to kids who have allergies?
August: Number one is to make sure you always have your epinephrine auto injector with you wherever you go. Read the label of everything you eat, and don't be afraid to teach people about your allergies. It's not your fault you have allergies. It's nothing to be ashamed of. There are a lot of kids just like you who have food allergies. I'm one of them!
Families are encouraged to get involved and post photos of their pumpkins online for the Teal Pumpkin Project Challenge. To learn more about food allergies, visit foodallergy.org
Follow August on Instagram @augustmaturo and Twitter @augustmaturo
"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth
University of Miami
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