The Food Bank Run and how you can help

The Food Bank Run is a new movement that is gaining pace in 2023.

Created off the back of a food bank run started several years ago, by Hampshire-based Fareham Running Club, every club, group and food bank is being encouraged to link up and create their own Food Bank Run.

The organization is asking fellow runners to join them in February to make that difference and hold your own Food Bank Run.

Why February?

February is a key time of the year when 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 harder to come by. This is why the month of February is such an important time of the year and why they’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.

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 or find out more information?
If you’re keen on getting involved, they’d love to send you more information nearer the time and also understand which role you could play in a Food Bank Run near you.

Please find below the details of where more information can be found and of how to contact us directly.

Contact details and more information:

Sarah – 07795 247557
Food Bank Run website –
Food Bank Run Facebook page – Email us:
Interactive Map of who is involved so far –

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?”.

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 there to 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.
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. 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.

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