Port Alberni’s 2020 pumpkin pick-up was a huge success, according to organizers.
Genevieve Huneault of Social Root Consulting said that the pick-up collected more than 375 pumpkins, exceeding the 2018 number of 348. All volunteers adhered to COVID-19 protocols, with masks and hand sanitizer.
“We were super happy with the turnout this year, given the fact that it is a pandemic,” said Huneault.
Roughly 60 percent of the pumpkins went towards human consumption. The Alberni Athletic Hall donated the use of its kitchen for processing the pumpkins into soup that will be donated to the Salvation Army and Bread of Life. Some pumpkins were also donated to local restaurants to be baked into pies and other baked goods.
Around 30 percent of the pumpkins went towards feeding livestock. The food went to six local farms, as well as the SPCA (for a pair of goats) and the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre (for a hungry black bear).
Ten percent of the pumpkins went towards compost.
Richard Huneault, the pick-up coordinator, was able to secure a small grant from the TakingitGlobal organization for the pumpkin pick-up.
“With this funding we will also be able to offset our carbon emissions from the project, making this a carbon neutral project,” said Genevieve Huneault.