Pumpkin Run cooks up ‘souper’ lunch in Coffs

Pathfinders’ Craig Hunt and Nara Donovan, Pete’s Place’s Gai Newman, youngsters Riley Mammen and Dominik Law, Chris Bower and CEO Alan Brennan.

COFFS Harbour welcomed the tenth annual Pathfinders Pumpkin Run on Tuesday 28 May.

The Pumpkin Run program sees young people growing pumpkins in order to share them with community groups and soup kitchens to produce home made soup.

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In Coffs, all the action was based around the kitchens at the Uniting Church’s Soup Place and Pete’s Place.

Young people and staff cooked fresh pumpkin soup during the morning and served it up at lunchtime.

As part of the Pathfinders program the youngsters have been hard at work at Tilbuster Station in Armidale, growing pumpkins for this year’s charity run.

Last week the pumpkins were packed and sorted, and delivered early this week to community groups, charities and soup kitchens.

The delivery tour included Coffs Harbour, along with Armidale, Taree, Newcastle and Sydney.

Pathfinders CEO Alan Brennan said food insecurity was surging and the Pumpkin Run was one way the organisation could contribute to helping those in need.

“We are playing a small part in supporting the community by taking the Pumpkin Run on the road to locations where we can make the most difference,” he said.

“Organisations such as OzHarvest and Soul Hub have seen a significant uptick in demand for their services so we are glad to be of assistance.”

The 2024 harvest has been their most successful to date.

“We planted 8,000 seeds which have produced almost ten tonnes of pumpkins.

“Under the guidance of Pathfinders’ staff the young people involved not only learn how to grow pumpkins but they learn the values of generosity, teamwork, and responsibility towards others.

“When young people are given an opportunity to give back to their community, they develop invaluable life skills.

“For these young people, they get to see that their efforts can truly make a difference in other people’s lives, and that can be a huge boost to their confidence and self-esteem.”


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