Lion Gleaning Hub
‘Lions Pick A Pumpkin Patch’
As part of District 105CE’s work towards alleviating hunger, District 105CE and MD Hunger Officer Lion Chris Hibbert has been working with Feedback Global to set up our own Lions Gleaning Hub.
Gleaning is a term used to describe collecting and redistributing perfectly edible and nutritious fruit and vegetables from farms and orchards that would otherwise go to waste.
‘Lions weigh in, to squash food waste’
Members of East Anglia New Century Lions Club and Peterborough Lions Club weighed in to ‘squash food waste’ on Saturday 2nd November 2019 at Hill Farm, Peterborough. In just two and a half hours the eight volunteers collected approximately 5 tonnes of pumpkins and squashes. Due to poor weather over the previous weeks this Pick Your Own (PYO) farm was left with huge amounts of produce that was going to be ploughed into the ground.
The following weekend saw East Anglia New Century Lions Club out again gleaning more pumpkins and squashes, this time with help from Chelmsford Lions and Leos. This event took place at Foxes Farm Produce near Basildon where eight tonne bags were filled with an estimated 6 tonnes of food.
The produce from both gleans was distributed across our Multiple District via the Fareshare network to 14 of their depots from Newcastle upon Tyne, Liverpool and Manchester in the north to Brighton, Ipswich and Deptford in the south.
‘This is not just a hunger issue; it’s an environmental issue too’.
Each year it is estimated that 18,000 tonnes of pumpkins are sent to landfill, which is predominantly due to carving pumpkins. We don’t want to stop this activity, but we do want to encourage the edible parts to be eaten and the remainder to be composted.
This is not just a hunger issue; it’s an environmental issue too. It is estimated that for every 1 tonne of food waste diverted from landfill 0.5t of CO2 is saved from entering the atmosphere. If food waste was a country it would be the third highest CO2 emitter after China and the USA.
Pumpkins are not the only produce to be wasted. It is estimated that the average family throw away produce worth £700 each year by wasting food that could have been eaten.
Thanks, must go to Feedback https://feedbackglobal.org/ for their help and advice organising our first two gleans, to Fareshare UK https://fareshare.org.uk/ for distributing the pumpkins and to the farmers for allowing us onto their farms to glean these edible delights.
The volunteers were encouraged to take a few pumpkins and squashes home and to create and share the recipes they created. These will be used in the future to help to educate the public on better ways to use their pumpkins. There are loads of fabulous recipes online and for more information about Pumpkin Rescue please see The Hubbub Foundation website https://www.hubbub.org.uk/.