Southsea parkrun were just one of the many events who got involved in the Food Bank Run, so we caught up with one of the organisers, Eileen, to find out why they got involved:
Why did you want to get involved with your own food bank run?I saw an email from Runr calling for running clubs to run to a food bank with donations during the month of February. I don’t belong to a running club but I do belong to Southsea parkrun. It was clear that it would not be practical for over 400 runners to run to a food bank, but I thought how great it would be if every runner at parkrun could bring one item of food as a donation to a food bank.
I put the idea to the Event Director and Run Directors and they were all really keen to hold a food collection on a Saturday morning to help our local community, at a time when need was increasing. The Briny Restaurant, adjacent to our start, kindly lent us some tables.
We chose St Margaret’s Church Pantry in Southsea as it is close by. Like parkrun, it is run by volunteers, and some of them came down on the day to let people know what they do and thank the runners personally.How many runners attended?443 runners, joggers and walkers and 36 parkrun volunteers took part on Saturday 4th February How much was donated?The donations we collected exceeded all our expectations. The tables were stacked high with cans and packets of food and toiletries. St Mags Pantry brought down all their crates on the day and we managed to fill almost all of them. Had you taken part in a food bank run before this year?Although individual runners have been doing their own food bank runs, our parkrun has not taken part before. Our inclusion is all down to the fantastic Food Bank Run initiative of Sarah Don, Fareham Running Club and Runr. How did it feel completing the food bank run?We felt so proud of our runners and it was great to see the running community helping the local community. Many runners came down with not just one item but in many cases a bag full of needed items. What was the feed back from the runners who took part?The feedback from the runners was great. The amount of food collected was a good indication of their enthusiasm for this initiative.Which food bank did you support?
We would definitely like to do this again, although we haven’t planned our next event yet. It would be nice to do it again on Southsea parkrun’s 10th anniversary in October and the same again next year if it is needed.Another bonus of this event is that several volunteers from the Pantry have now joined us for a run on Saturday mornings, and they will be able to promote it to the local people using St Mags Pantry. parkrun is free for all and is a great way of improving both mental and physical health.Do you have plans to do more food bank runs?
We want to say a huge THANK YOU to Eileen and the team at Southsea parkrun for sharing their participation in their own food bank run.