FOOD instead of cash was donated for the second annual foodbank fun run on Boscombe seafront on Sunday.

The group comprising of students, residents and 10 sea cadets all dressed in pink arrived bearing tins and food packages, before running up and down the promenade in a series of races started by the mayor.

The idea for the fun run originally came from Kinson North councillor Amedeo Angiolini after an injury ruined his plans to run a half-marathon for the same cause.

Cllr Angiolini said: “It’s unique and we need to let the event grow. I don’t think something like this has been done anywhere else.”

This year medals were awarded for races across varying distances up to 5km with different age and gender categories.

Emma Hiscutt, activity development manager for Bournemouth University’s student union, attended the event a day after students had managed to amass 2.2tonnes of food for foodbanks in the Big Feed project.

Emma, who walked 1km of the route despite having a dislocated knee, said she was proud that Bournemouth University students were showing such enthusiasm to help people in their community.

“The number of people needing help in the area is just astonishing,” she added.

“Benefits have got a lot tighter and jobs are hard to find, but I think there is now less stigma when it comes to asking for help.”

Among those who had brought food to the beach was 22-year-old nurse Jane Leakey, who was running with a group of friends.

Jane said: “It’s worrying that in certain areas of Bournemouth people struggle so much, but it’s reassuring to see that there are people in the community who care enough to come and support them like this.

“It’s a bit different to donating cash and most people do have spare tins in the cupboard.”

American Sharon Holland, who is in Bournemouth visiting her daughter, said she has participated in charity runs before and was pleased to be able to bring food for those who need it.

She added: “I can’t imagine going hungry and I am all for trying anything that helps.”