As the sunshine and warm weather sets the promise of summer within our sights, it may seem a little strange to be turning our attention to pumpkins. But we have just learned that every Halloween people in Britain throw away 18,000 tonnes of these orange gems! This shocking statistic is a wake-up call for us all to think about the amount of food we squander. This year, Hubbub needs your help to remind people how easy it is to do something about ending food waste.

Hubbub is a new UK organisation with a mission to make it easier for people to do the right thing. Last October, it teamed up with Good Food Oxford to host the very first Pumpkin Festival, which brought the issue of food waste to the city of Oxford. More than 2,000 people enjoyed a staggering 23 events hosted across the city, which encouraged people to think about the food they throw away, challenged preconceptions and shared new skills while also having fun along the way.

This year, Hubbub is looking for people who are passionate about ending food waste to bring the festival to cities throughout Britain. The organisation has produced a comprehensive guide covering all you need to know about how to run your own pumpkin festival.

If you haven’t been involved in running an event before, fear not. The guide has detailed instructions on everything you should consider from start to finish, including funding and budgeting, insurance, staffing, location and scale, project planning, marketing and volunteer recruitment, alongside a detailed checklist of what you will need to remember as the festival approaches.

The framework for the pumpkin festival lends itself well to collaboration, as it allows different groups with an interest in reducing food waste to run their own events under one banner, such as a composting session at a community garden or a pumpkin growing competition between schools. The more voices you have to contribute, the wider the message will spread – while also relieving some of the pressure on the organisers.

The guide contains suggestions for further events that could run during your festival, such as:

  • a launch event that introduces the festival to local media and stakeholders
  • a Disco Soup – a public communal meal that serves up food from surplus
  • a ‘gleaning’ or food waste collection
  • a cooking skills-sharing session
  • a social media campaign – Hubbub will also be running one nationally
  • recipe sharing
  • a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ or ‘Come Dine With Me’ style event.

If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of this October, email Tessa Tricks at tessa[@]hubbub.org.uk. She will send you a starter pack of everything you will need to ensure your festival goes without a hitch.

For further information on Hubbub, see www.hubbub.org.uk/food.

Photograph: Liz West

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