The Food Bank Run is back for Winter 23/24.
With the number of food banks on the rise and the number of people using them also increasing, we're once again simply asking the running community: Will you run to your local food bank?
During the last Winter, we were astonished by how many runners wanted to support their local community through the Food Bank Run.
Over 500 groups, clubs, events, parkruns and other got involved.
In total, over 77,000 KG's of supplies were donated which is the equivalent of 3 arctic lorries full. That translates to 336,875 meals for family and individuals who are struggling to put food on their tables.
Here are just 3 examples of people that got involved:
Food Bank Run - Southsea parkrun
Food Bank Run - Redway Runners
Food Bank Run - Shropshire Shufflers
Our Ask for Winter 23/24:
Will you and your fellow runners join us to make a difference this Winter?
The running community helping the local community. We would love you to join us in doing your own Food Bank Run.
Who is taking part?
We have created a new map for this Winter to show who is getting involved.
Last Winter, over 500 clubs, groups, events, parkruns and more, got involved to run their own Food Bank Run.
The interactive map below shows those who have put their name down to take part this Winter, so why not see who is taking part in your local area by zooming in to see who is involved:
If you want to get involved but can't see yourself on the map, get in touch via the form below and we'll get you added:
February is a key time of the year where families are hardest hit. Christmas has come and gone, a time where families feel the pressure to put food on the table and spend money on their children, plus there is a pause on some household bills.
Then February arrives and suddenly the bills arrive at a time when cash is even more hard to come by. This is why the month of February is such an important time of the year and why we're focusing on supporting Food Bank Runs on any day of the month.
How has food bank usage increased over previous years?
The number of people using food banks has now reached 2.1 million in the UK, up from just 1.6 million five years ago.
Number of people receiving three days' worth of emergency food by Trussell Trust food banks in the United Kingdom from 2008/09 to 2021/22. 832,000 of these went to children.
How do I set up a Food Bank Run?
Find a food bank and organise a date.
First of all, find and contact your local food bank. Arrange a date that they would be able to open their doors especially for you and receive your donations in February. The easiest way to locate your nearest food bank is to search on Google.
Who shall I invite to get involved?
Once the date is in the diary, tell anyone that wants to join you of the date and distance of the run. Whether you're part of a club, group or run with friends, share details with them, even create a Facebook event and invite anyone along who would love to support.
Make sure you plan your route for the event. It's sensible carry out simple risk assessments of the route to make sure that there are no hazards.
Depending on abilities, consider more than one starting point so those who want to run a longer distance can do so, whilst those who prefer shorter runs are also able to take part.
What should I donate to the food bank?
It's worth speaking to the food bank and understanding what supples they are in need of. This will give you an idea of the type of product that they require. Then encourage your runners to bring items off the list along and run with one or more items to donate to the food bank.
Tip: You may want to have a car for the run in order to transport items that runners can’t carry. This also gives to option for runners to donate more if they wish and no doubt you'll have more than you can actually carry on your back!
The run itself.
On the date, set off, enjoy the run and donate the food.
Tip: We found a short presentation from the food bank on what they do to be really inspiring, so maybe think about that for when all the runners have arrived.
Once you're ready to run back, you'll leave with a gained knowledge of the amazing work food banks do and no doubt be looking forward to taking part in more in the future.
How do I get involved?
History of the Food Bank Run - by Sarah
One Wednesday afternoon in January 2018, I had a phone call from James our running club secretary saying “Sarah I’ve had this idea. One of our training nights in February, how about we set off with bags of food and donate them to a food bank. Do you think you could sort it out?”.
Sarah - the driving force behind this movement!
My answer is always yes if it means helping someone, but how to do this would take a bit of thinking. I knew of food banks, seen the trollies collecting, but organising a run? I had no idea. However, by chance, the next day I was at my local parent and toddler group in the local church and overheard a Nan talking about her volunteering at the food bank. Bless her, I grabbed her quickly and told her of the idea. She loved it and said if I could get the church open we could run to there gather the food she would collect.
So the night was set.
The church gave me a key and we informed our running club, Fareham Running Club, of the change to our usual training run. Like normal, they were up for the challenge and so the Food Bank Run was born.
The night of the run, I talked my family into helping at the church. We laid out a few drinks for the expected runners and Sue turned up from the food bank with her one bag for life to collect the food.
Some of the runners above from Fareham Run Club after delivering much needed items.
We expected about 20 runners to run the course and had no idea what was happening at the start. My children were outside in their onesies with torches waiting to see the first head torch appear.
Then something happened that we were not expecting.
The first runner appears. Then the next. Then a group of 5. Then more and more piled into the church building. Bags of food were being emptied along the side as more and more appeared. I lost count at 70 runners but I’m pretty sure we were close to 100. The buzz was incredible.
I looked at Sue’s face and she just couldn’t believe it. She stood at the top of the stairs and spoke to everyone. Thanking them and laughing that she didn’t think she would fit it all into her one bag.
The runners and the huge amount of food that they transported on the night.
Then she explained the support the food bank gave to those in our area. It was humbling to hear what the volunteers did and the difference it made. It was a truly special night that I will never forget it. The following week, back at a normal training night, the main question was 'when can we do it again!'.
As a club, we have organised a yearly food bank run in February for 4 out of the last 5 years - sadly having to miss out a year when COVID hit.
However, this year we returned. As I was setting up the 2022 run and arranging contacts with a different food bank, it was harder as this time I was pregnant and wasn’t sure of how much I could do. When January hit, sadly our baby was stillborn and I didn’t know if I could face organising the food bank run, or if I could still be of use to anyone.
I had hit rock bottom.
However, when I came out of hospital, something happened to us as a family. An act of kindness that I will never forget. Members of the community delivered cooked meals to my family. Each night, we were fed for 2 weeks and as I took a bite of each meal, I started to feel better. I realised that we were on the other side. Receiving the help when we needed it. It was humbling, but restoring.
That was it! I had to get back up and help with the run.
So on Tuesday 8th February 2022, a week before my baby’s funeral, we stood in Waypoint Hub Food Bank and welcomed the biggest run we had done, dozens of bags of food, PLUS 3 car loads that couldn't be carried on foot and the place was filled with runners ready to make a difference.
What excited me the most was I now know the feeling of receiving food when you needed it the most and the difference it would make. It was during that evening when I thought we can’t keep this to us. We need this to continue to every running club in the country. If every runner could donate just one item, the difference would be incredible.
Does this have to be on a specific date?
No. If you organise, or take part in a Food Bank Run, it can happen on any date and all we suggest is that it takes place in the month of February.
Does this cost anything to organise or take part in?
The only cost associated with this is what you choose to spend on supplies for the food bank, but only spend what you can afford.
How do I find my local food bank?
At the moment, there is no central place to find every food bank in the UK. The Trussell Trust operate approximately 50% of food banks in the UK and Google is a great place to find one near you.
We want to say a huge Thank You to James Musselwhite @ Musselwhite Photography for his help with video content and also Rachel Keen @ Printed Egde for her work on the awesome logo!