In October half term we were lucky enough to put on two pumpkin decorating and cooking workshops to help reduce pumpkin waste in our community.
With the help of a grant from Hubbub (an environmental charity), we were involved in their ‘Eat Your Pumpkin’ campaign which aims to encourage people to reduce waste and eat all of their pumpkins! In the UK, around 47% of people do not know pumpkins are edible and so throw them out instead of using it in cooking. Hubbub wanted to combat this and so our grant money went towards teaching families in our community what can be created using pumpkins.
We wanted to create a workshop that incorporated decorating pumpkins creatively and sustainably and teaching people how to prepare and cook with them.
We invited local families in our community to come to our centre in Kingswood where the children painted and decorated pumpkins whilst the adults cooked a lovely pumpkin, red lentil and coconut curry.
After the decorating and cooking was done, the families sat down and enjoyed the meal together. Most of them had never eaten pumpkin before and expressed their enjoyment at making something new. Even children known to be fussy eaters stated how tasty the curry was and how they couldn’t wait to replicate it at home!
We had lots of single parents exclaim that there were not many groups around for them and that it was amazing to learn a recipe, have a shared meal, engage with others in the community and have their children be well looked after and entertained by someone else.
The feedback we received after the event was great. These are some quotes from attendees:
Names have been anonymised.
“Myself and X really enjoyed the event. It was really nice to cook a meal whilst X was being well looked after and entertained. The packs you sent us home with were incredibly generous”.
“I really enjoyed socialising with other families. We all made the curry at home as the ingredients were given to me. It had a positive impact on my mental health too”.
With the funding, we were also able to provide families with a take-home recipe box with the ingredients and recipe cards to make four pumpkin-related meals.
These recipes were the pumpkin curry made in the workshop as well as pumpkin soup, pumpkin pasta sauce and spiced pumpkin muffins.
The recipe boxes helped to engage people how to make these, it also helped relieve anyone of food insecurity and helped those struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
Thank you to our fab volunteers who all took their time to help at the event, support people cooking and entertain the children with pumpkin decorating. We couldn’t have done it without you!