We're launching #PumpkinChallenge to squash food waste next Halloween. Building on the success of the 2014 Oxford Pumpkin Festival we want to help create 15 similar festivals in towns and cities throughout the UK. We want to prevent 18,000 tonnes of pumpkins being dumped into holes in the ground each year, cut food waste by 50 tonnes and give 30,000 people the chance to do good, meet others and learn new skills.

To support #PumpkinChallenge, we've produced a comprehensive guide on how run a Pumpkin Festival. From funding through to insurance, from social media campaigns though to the finer points of gleaning, everything is covered making it easy to collaborate and get started.

Halloween is the perfect time to talk about food waste. Last year UK households spent more than £300m during this period, placing it just behind Christmas and Easter as a time when consumers loosen their purse strings to embrace the festive spirit. Amazingly, only a decade ago spending on Halloween was just £12 million.

Although Halloween is part of the Celtic tradition of Samhain, its commercialisation comes from the US including a huge growth in the sale of pumpkins. Asda now sell more than 1 million pumpkins every Halloween. Unfortunately the UK has not taken on all elements of the US tradition where pumpkins are part of the national dish and happily turned into pumpkin pies as well as lanterns. 

We want to change this and make sure pumpkins are eaten rather than dumped. We want 2015 to be the start of a new culture at Halloween ensuring that people have a great time without causing food to be wasted.

Join the #PumpkinChallenge

We're looking for 15 cities or towns to join this ambition. To help, we're not only providing the comprehensive guide but will also be making freely available a range of promotional materials, providing access to a national campaign and offering a chance to participate in a robust social media campaign. If you want to join the festive fight to squash food waste, get in touch through [email protected] and let's have a chat.