Soroptimists in Milton Keynes may be a small club, but we are always keen to help our community and so back in July, when we heard about MK Foodbank’s plans for the MK Can event to break the Guinness World Record for the number of tinned food cans in a continous line, we thought could we do this.
All our tins dropped off and ready to be taken round to our section, 11 crates with 42 tins in each.
The outline of the record attempt was that on Monday 16 October (World Food Day) MK Foodbank along with businesses, clubs, churches, schools, parish councils, organisations and charities throughout Milton Keynes would attempt to break the world record for the number of tin cans in a continuous line. The record was made in 2014 in Canada and stood at 44,966. MKFoodbank wanted to aim for 10km continous line of tins which would equate to 132,000 tins. Based on currently high levels of demand the MK Foodbank is dealing with this would give them 6 months worth of food supply in tinned food.
The plan was that businesses and community groups apply for a 25 meter section. A 25 meter section equates to approx 350 400g food tins.
The record attempt would take place in Campbell Park and would start and end at The Rose at the World Food Day Pillar.
And so our club got together and said can we do this. We will need to ask all our friends and family to help obtain 350 tins of food and we would need to start in July. The Foodbank gave us a list of items they wanted: pasta, meat, fish, fruit, soup, pasta sauces, veg etc. And we had to have the 350 tins before 16 October. That is a lot of tins but we said we can do this, our club’s motto is we are doer’s.
Our first concern was would we do it in time. Then where would we store them. And then how would we get them there. We need’nt of worried, the tins stared coming in. A couple of our members started storing them and then we started to count to makesure we would reach the 350. Well we did that alright and some more. In the end we collected nearly 1,000 and were able to help out MK Snap and YMCA MK with their collections. And MK Snap helped us, they picked up all our tins and delivered them to Campbell Park on the 16th.
We had to be there by 8.30am, our alloted time to drop off our tins. We had been given a line opposite the Parks Trust offices, by the pond. And the weather was on our side, it stayed dry although chilly, so we were all wrapped up.
And again our friends helped us and we had a helper from Acorn Early Years Foundation help out. They came along to help us unload the tins, get them to our pitch and then from 10am we had to lay the tins out, making sure we got our full 350 in our stretch and that they were all touching and that we then linked up to the next organisation in the line.
It was a great day, there was a marvellous community spirit going on, we were all helping each other, chatting. If one section had spare they went to another who was short, if someone needed help, we all helped out. And then there was the wait for the adjudicators to come round and count. The adjudicator was filmed counting each section. And at each section he started from 1 again to makesure the section had its full count. That was nerve racking but we had counted and recounted ours so we knew we were okay. And then we had to wait for the official Guinness Book of Records to do his checks.
And whilst we waited in the afternoon, members of the public could walk the line and we had a lovely visit from the Acorn Early Years nursery based at the YMCA. As you walked round we were all talking and saying what a lovely event it was.
And then around 3pm the announcement was made. And we had all smashed the record. From being 44,966 the new Guinness World record is 102, 447.
Well done everyone, and for us Soroptimist Milton Keynes, we feel very humble by the response from our friends and their friends friends who all gave tins. A very big thank you from us but also from MK Community.
One of the reasons for taking on this record was to raise awareness of the work foodbanks do, the impact of the cost of living crisis and the high demand the Foodbank are dealing with to support people in the MK Community. They estimate they have supported around 1 in 30 households in Milton Keynes over the last 18 months. This represents one child in every class, at least one household in every street and possibly at least one in most workplaces. And every week about 50 people are contacting us for the very first time. People who have never had to ask for help before. If you are able to continue to help MKFoodbank with donations, click here to visit the website.