Community mission

Full of alternative beans

3 runners ran to help the Birmingham Central Foodbank in Birmingham.

  • John Hayes
  • Miriam
  • Lee Swinerd
Monday, 9th of December 2019
Led by John Hayes

We met at a not so reassuringly dark entrance to the church which houses the weekly Foodbank in Birmingham City Centre. It was great to welcome Annie to this task, while Lee joined us for a good deed after a long time. Abi joined us with George for her first Goodgym task and Miriam found us after we were met by lights, and our host, Matt, who introduced the group to the Foodbank and the jobs we were about to do.

We started by weighing crates and bags of donations from various sources, including an impressive amount from a local primary school. All while Annie and Miriam were able to discuss and display planking techniques. But this was not to be the only workout of the night as the crates really did weigh a lot and had to be shifted around by the two teams we had split into.

Weights work complete, it was onto cardio, which was just as well as none of us had run to the mission. Sorting meant taking the mixed donations to their categories around the room and into the hallway. It was at this point we met our favourite category of “alternative beans”, which bizarrely includes Mushy Peas. Our favourite donations of the night were the very niche Rosecoco Beans and the tin pictured alongside our George in the photos. The sorting process lead to a bizarre hysteria engulfing us, as we began waving random items in the air while shouting in anguished tones to get suggestions of categories for them. Such as Miriam’s “where do the meatballs go?”

Finally we were into the philosophical phase of the evening as George and Abi got into an argument about whether Lasagna sheets are ‘real’ pasta or not; and we all stayed well away from the classic ‘are Jaffa Cakes biscuits or cakes’ debate going on next door.

As the time for the end of the shift rapidly approached, we were all quite worn out mentally and physically from the task, but very satisfied about the amount we had achieved collectively. This is the real joy of Goodgym and volunteering as a group, when you get such a great visual impression of the good you have done. We didn’t even get to do the final task of dating the food, which we had managed to with half the people last time, which shows just how much food had been donated to the Foodbank this week. A humbling and reassuring thought, with Christmas approaching and the many needy families who will be accessing the facility this week. I think we were all glad that we could do our bit to help. It is great to know that we have seen tonight the result of the collective generosity of the general public.

Report written by John Hayes

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Led by

John Hayes

John Hayes
Enjoy encouraging new runners, running 5k as fast as I can, and doing as much good as time allows along the way.

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