He collects Halloween pumpkins to avoid waste in memory of his missing friend


A Montrealer collects pumpkins across the city to redistribute them to various animal sanctuaries in order to counter food waste and pursue the vocation of his late friend.

“The first year we harvested around 400, the following year 500 and it is increasing. These are significant losses that can still be used, both for humans and animals, ”said Ericene Medrano-Contreras, the volunteer in charge of the collection.

For four years, Mr. Medrano-Contreras has been collecting abandoned pumpkins in order to provide food for the animals of Refuge-RR which is located in Ontario, as well as Monkey Spaces and SAFE sanctuaries, respectively located in Sainte-Sophie and Mansonville. in Estrie. This year, he estimates that he will collect up to 500 pumpkins that are still good for consumption.

Collected pumpkins for the animals

PHOTO COURTESY Ericene Medrano Contreras

« We’ve been contacted for three years now to be offered pumpkins and it’s really a party every time, for the animals and for us! These pumpkins feed hungry animals,” explained Nancy Trudeau, the owner of the Monkey Spaces sanctuary in Montérégie.

Mainly home to farm animals such as pigs, cows and chickens, the famous squashes are sure to find takers.

“Animals love pumpkins, especially cows. Shortly after the opening of the shrine, a huge pumpkin was installed as a decoration and the calves at the time devoured it entirely. Subsequently, I discovered that all the animals loved it, both pigs and goats,” commented Catherine Gagnieux, director of the SAFE sanctuary.

Take over

The idea of ​​recovering the pumpkins that would otherwise have ended up in the garbage was initiated by a friend of Ericene, Luis Loupgarou Alfonso, a person for whom animal welfare was a priority. Taking up the torch and continuing this initiative came as a matter of course for Ericene Medrano-Contreras.

Collected pumpkins for the animals

PHOTO COURTESY Ericene Medrano Contreras

« It’s a way of honoring him and continuing his mission, » he added.

Appeal to citizens

Once again this year, citizens who wish to donate their pumpkins, which are still good for consumption, can do so by dropping them off at the drop-off point located in the backyard of 5785 rue de Lorimier in the Rosemont district. Several companies, including grocery stores, also offer their unsold pumpkins after Halloween. La Ronde is also a major donor, earlier this week 200 pumpkins were collected there. The collection will take place until the end of November.

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