Volunteers picked up more than 150 pumpkins on Nov. 1, 2021, following Halloween celebrations. The pumpkins were either donated to farms for animal consumption or leftovers from retail outlets were donated to be made into food for human consumption. (PHOTO COURTESY RICHARD HUNEAULT)

Volunteers picked up more than 150 pumpkins on Nov. 1, 2021, following Halloween celebrations. The pumpkins were either donated to farms for animal consumption or leftovers from retail outlets were donated to be made into food for human consumption. (PHOTO COURTESY RICHARD HUNEAULT)

Annual Port Alberni pumpkin pickup provides food for two-legged, four-legged recipients

Volunteers pick up, process pumpkins in Shelter Farm prep kitchen

The annual pumpkin pickup garnered 150 of the Halloween favourites in Port Alberni for 2021.

Although the number wasn’t as high as in past years, organizer Richard Huneault said the number was fair for an event that was pulled together at the last minute. Volunteers collected the pumpkins on Nov. 1, 2021 after putting out the word on social media for anyone wanting to get rid of their jack o’lanterns post-Halloween.

Most food-safe pumpkins came from grocery stores like Save-On-Foods that had leftovers after Halloween or farms such as Arrowvale Farm and Campground. Cut up or damaged pumpkins or those that came from households were donated to animal farms like Cluster Fcuk Farms, What the Flock Farm or Oak Tree Farm for feed for goats, pigs and chickens.

“Robin Miles (of Dog Mountain Brewing) picked up most of the donated pumpkins from the community,” Huneault said.

Volunteers helped process the pumpkins so they were safe for either human or animal consumption, or composted. The human-safe food was made into processed pumpkin chunks or pumpkin curry soup.

“Ultimately it’s a community effort but without the help of Guy Langlois (Shelter Farm) and the prep kitchen (Vivian Cruise) it wouldn’t have happened this year.”

The majority of the pumpkins and processed food went to the Port Alberni Shelter Society or Bread of Life.

Alberni Valleyfood securityHalloween

 

Richard Huneault prepares donated pumpkins for human consumption following a pumpkin pick-up event on Nov. 1, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY RICHARD HUNEAULT)

Richard Huneault prepares donated pumpkins for human consumption following a pumpkin pick-up event on Nov. 1, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY RICHARD HUNEAULT)