3,500 unwanted pumpkins rescued in north London
Working with environmental charity Hubbub, NLWA ran the Pumpkin Rescue Festival, which involved 24 north London events and attracted 1,500 people. The Pumpkin Rescue Festival events, which ran from 26 October and end this Sunday 8 November, have been a huge success.The 3,500 ‘rescued’ pumpkins were given to residents or cooked, more than 100 people attended cookery workshops, and there were more than 70 additional pop-up pumpkin events across north London.
The Festival’s flagship event ‘the Pumpkin Party’, took place in the Angel Centre, Islington on Saturday, 31 October, where over 1,300 people gathered to celebrate the spooky staple and enjoy a free portion of pumpkin soup, bread (ingredients all donated or gleaned), recipe cards and useful reminders about rescuing pumpkins and reducing food waste. There were also plenty of spare pumpkins for people to ‘rescue’ for free, as well as face-painting, activities for children, a seaside-style photo board and food waste confessions booth.
Councillor Clyde Loakes, Chair of NLWA said:
“On average over a million pumpkins are purchased in the UK in the run up to Halloween – if we don’t reuse or recycle them, that’s a lot of food waste to potentially end up in landfill. We are delighted that so many people came to our events to celebrate the nation’s favourite spooky staple, helping to reduce this kind of unnecessary food waste”.
Around the Halloween period, two in five of us buy a pumpkin, carve it and then discard the insides. The pumpkin rescue events aimed to tackle potential pumpkin food waste and provide an opportunity for north London residents to have a chance to cook, taste and also learn about composting.
- Arnos Park Community Garden, Enfield from 1 November to 8 November - just leave your pumpkin in the box outside the gate
- Cordwainers Garden, Hackney on 1 and 8 November only from 11:30am to 1:30pm
- Edible Landscapes London, Finsbury Park on 2 and 6 November only from 10am to 3pm
- The Hoxton Trust, Hackney from 1 November to 8 November from 10am to 4pm
Leading the Pumpkin Rescue, Trewin Restorick, CEO/Founder of Hubbub said:
“The huge increase in pumpkin festivals this year shows a fundamental shift in the way the UK is thinking about food waste and Halloween celebrations. The UK is slowly finding innovative ways to create tasty meals from food that would otherwise be thrown away – and London is leading the way.”