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Runners in Canton help to provide food for people in need

GoodGym volunteers working with FareShare collected food for vulnerable people in Canton as part of a nationwide campaign.

GoodGym volunteers, Ellen Perry, Fiona Guy and Emily Cotterill, collecting donations in Tesco Metro in Canton on Saturday.

Local runners helped to provide food for those living in poverty by collecting donations from shoppers in Canton’s Tesco Metro last Saturday.

Members of GoodGym Cardiff and the Vale – a running group that does charitable deeds in the community – encouraged shoppers to buy items such as rice, tinned soup and tea bags from a shopping list provided by a UK food redistribution charity.

Ellen Perry, a GoodGym member, said, “People have been really generous. One guy spent £10 on food.”

The donations collected in Canton will be made into meals by the organisations partnered with FareShare, a nationwide charity fighting food waste and hunger, providing food for children’s breakfast clubs, homeless shelters and community groups.

 “It’s not just giving people the food as it is, it’s providing nutritious meals,” said Fiona Guy, a volunteer with GoodGym.

Shopping trolley containing food donations, including tinned soup, instant coffee, tea bags, pasta and rice.
Donations from local shoppers will be made into nutritious meals by charities working with FareShare.

According to FareShare, there are 8.4 million people in the UK currently living in food poverty, almost 13% of the total UK population.

“It’s needed that someone’s here asking people,” said Fiona Guy, “because we’ve all seen these things in supermarkets before, but it’s when you’re leaving and you don’t know what it is and you don’t do much. Because we’re here explaining to people, they’re like ‘Oh yes, of course I’ll get something’, because they know what it’s about.”

Volunteers with GoodGym run to community missions where they help out with tasks such as painting, gardening, weeding and litter picking at places such as schools, local authority clubs, community centres and places of worship.

“We signed up as a group today because we like to do things together as runners,” Ellen Perry said.

Supermarket shelves with tinned soup.
Shoppers in Canton donated tins of soup, fruit and vegetables to help people living in food poverty.

Food bank usage is rising, with the The Trussell Trust – a nationwide food bank charity – handing out over 800,000 emergency food parcels to people in crisis between April to September 2019. This is a 23% increase on the same period in 2018.

“They could walk past this and ignore it,” volunteer Fiona Guy said, “but if you’ve got someone here it’s quite hard to say no when someone’s asking you to buy a tin of beans.

“If you put in this,” she said, holding up a tin of beans, “we’re going to be happy, and that’s just 20p.”