Major features of the Oxford Food Bank model of operations
- Food is supplied to us free, primarily by supermarkets and food wholesalers rather than individuals who have bought items
- This helps reduce food waste in the local area – one of our main aims
- The food is then distributed free of charge to other local charities who provide food for their clients
- This ensures that the food gets to the right people, and helps us to achieve our second aim of reducing food poverty
- It also helps these charities to provide much needed additional support in other areas by reducing their food costs
- Most of our operations are carried out by volunteers, helping us to provide over £15 of food for every £1 donated
- We believe that this is the most effective mode of operation and would happily provide advice for other new start-up food banks wishing to follow our lead
From 2009 to the current day, a potted history of the Oxford Food Bank
The Oxford Food Bank launched officially in October 2009 . It is run primarily by volunteers, and started small but now supplements over 5000 meals a week to people living in food poverty. The Food Bank calculates that in the past year it has given well over £1,000,000 worth of fresh wholesome food that would otherwise have gone to landfill.Click here to read more...
In the Spring of 2010, the Oxford Food Bank linked up with the Oxford Hub, a charity which connects students with community projects. The Oxford Hub supplies student volunteers for many shifts – an important element in the charity’s operations.
In November 2010, Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA) awarded the Oxford Food Bank the “New Group of the Year Award” in recognition of its positive environmental and social impact on the city.
At the end of 2010, generous donations enabled the Food Bank to buy its own van, and in 2011 the Rotary Clubs of Abingdon Vesper, Oxford Isis and Oxford Spires donated a second van. In November 2012 we moved from Lamarsh Road to temporary free premises at Seacourt Tower, thanks to Healthy Planet and Cultivate, and with the financial help of Opus Energy.
A further move took place in June 2013 to our current, rented premises in nearby Curtis Yard Industrial Estate in Botley. In 2015 much-needed third and fourth vans were purchased to allow us to expand our operations even further. We currently deliver to over 60 charities in and around Oxford, some on a daily basis, and these deliveries operate seven days a week and every day of the year except Christmas Day. We’ve come a long way since 2009, but seven years on we’ve still got a long way to go.
In February 2015 Oxford Food Bank won a second award from Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action (OCVA) in the shape of the “Best Team of Volunteers Award” and were also runners up in the “Environmental Award” section.
The video below was produced in 2011 when the Oxford Food Bank had been operating for two years. Even by that stage growth had been significant, but the levels of food being distributed have more than doubled since then, and continue to grow.