It must have been this article that I read in April 2015 that made me realise the importance of food banks. I'd been a big fan of Jack Monroe for a couple of years, and the story of how she fell quickly into poverty is both upsetting and horrifying, and made me realise how easily and quickly we could all end up on the breadline, and most terrifyingly, how hard it can be to get back from that position.
And it was after reading that article, and through learning more about foodbanks, that when I decided to run my first marathon, I knew exactly which charity I wanted to run for.
And back in April, I ran 26.2 miles and raised £660 for Manchester Central Foodbank.
And I'm so proud of that, but I also know there is so, so, so much more to be done.
Phil and I always pick up a few tins to donate to the foodbank whenever we're in a large supermarket, and last month we were asked to collaborate with Tesco for their #hatwithaheart campaign, which is hoping to raise £200,000 for foodbank charities, in association with Fareshare and the Trussel Trust.
Tesco are donating £1 from every sale of their novelty hats to help break the cycle of poverty. Fareshare focuses on rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste and redistributes it to those in need, and the Trussell Trust has over 400 foodbanks, proving emergency food to those in need across the country.
Phil and I recently received a hat each from Tesco to help raise awareness about the campaign and they are awesome! I've had so many people compliment me on mine and I've been so proud to tell them about the story behind them and the great work these charities are doing. I wore mine the whole time I was in Berlin last month (and stood out like a sore thumb in everyone-dressed-in-black Berlin).
And Phil has been wearing his to visit the Christmas markets in Manchester-
You can buy the hats online or in your local Tesco store.