She's the driving force behind a tiny community food bank initiative which has taken on a life of its own, feeding tens of thousands of hungry families nationwide.

Sarah Donaghy is the co-founder of Food Bank Run, a movement which took on even more significance when she lost her baby girl Katie two years ago and found neighbours and friends stepping up to bring cooked meals to her doorstep for her and her family. 

Sarah, a mum-of-four, teacher and the welfare officer at Fareham Running Club explained: "The community fed my family and my son wanted to pay it forward, so my own run is very personal and special to me."

Daily Echo: Sarah Donaghy, is the co-founder of the Food Bank Run movement

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The first ever Food Bank Run took place in February 2018 when Sarah, and club secretary James Musselwhite, decided that a run with backpacks filled with donations for the local food bank would replace their usual training run. They were amazed when around 100 took part.

It became an annual fixture until the pandemic hit and the 2021 run could not go ahead.

When it returned in 2022, Sarah was recently bereaved and had been on the receiving end of the food parcels and decided to go big.

"I basically sat and phoned 3,000 clubs and asked them if they could do a Food Bank Run and they said yes," she told the Daily Echo.

Daily Echo: Members of Fareham Running Club making a delivery to Waypoint Church in Locks Heath

Last year, more than 500 running groups got involved, donating more than 77 tonnes of supplies to food banks in their communities.

With ever more need and a best charity initiative of the year award at the national running show under their belt, the Food Bank Run movement is aiming even higher this year. 

Fareham runners will set off from the leisure centre with their backpacks full on Tuesday February 27 on their way to Waypoint Church in Locks Heath to deliver the essentials - and there's still time for other groups to get involved. 

"It’s amazing what is happening," adds Sarah. "I would love to inspire more runners to take part in the movement. 

"Basically we are asking runners to run with a backpack of donations to their local food bank. It's the running community helping the local community!"