A soggy Kempsey greeted the Pathfinders Pumpkin Run on Wednesday (July 6), but it was the perfect weather for a warm, tasty soup.
Pathfinders is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping at-risk youth and the disadvantaged. Eight years ago, it came up with the idea to donate pumpkins and prepare meals for those in need across New South Wales.
More than nine tonnes of pumpkins are being cooked and shared at five locations along the East Coast.
In addition to Kempsey, soups and meals have been served up in Taree, with Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Ballina up next.
Pathfinders also uses the Pumpkin Run to conduct its National Aboriginal Birth Certificate (PNABC) Program.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are under-represented in birth registration so the program allows them to fully participate in society.
“[This is] helping people work towards employment or get involved in social clubs,” Dunghutti woman Tracey Walker said. “And to help get their birth certificates.” “Alot of us face challenges to get our birth certificates.”
Most of the vegetables used in the Pumpkin Run are grown and harvested by young people in Pathfinders’ out-of-home care programs at Tilbuster Station on the outskirts of Armidale.
The property was gifted to Pathfinders by a private benefactor to be used for child and youth development, and to support families.