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World News

'Food Bank Run Movement': Christian initiative collects hundreds of food parcels

by Lydia Davies

A Christian woman has started a new movement partnering running clubs across the UK with food banks. 

Sarah Donaghy, co-founder of The Food Bank Run Movement, started the movement in Hampshire and has seen it spread nationwide. 

The movement entails runners filling their backpacks with food package donations and dropping them off at various local drop-off points. 

Since the Food Bank Run started, more than 500 clubs, groups and park runs have got involved, with around 100 kilograms of supplies donated. 

Donaghy told Premier Christian News she was inspired to start the initiative after spending time in hospital following a tragic miscarriage. 

She said: "Our neighbour had sorted out food for us when we got out of hospital. It was incredible. two weeks of food came to our doorstep from people in our community and as I stood in the foodbank, I realised that's what they do for the community". 

Figures have revealed a surge in foodbank users to 2.1m in the UK, up from 1.6m five years ago. Sarah believes this shows the need for such initiatives is more critical than ever. 

In February 2024, a significant push of the Food Bank Run saw numerous clubs engaging, recognising it as a crucial time when families were most vulnerable. 

The running community's response has been positive, spanning from Cornwall to Scotland. In Milton Keynes alone, over 2,500 runners donated five carloads of items to the local food bank. Redway Runners, one of the UK's largest running clubs, spearheaded the initiative, collecting donations from all 147 of its February runs. 

Donaghy believes the movement impacts those donating the food just as much as those in need. 

Referring to the runners, she said: They didn't realise the food banks were there. They're giving regularly now, people are starting to volunteer at the foodbanks…we asked them to do one run and they've done five or six now!" 


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