Following her recent visit to the base, local MP Nicola Blackwood brought OFB to the attention of the Cabinet Office, and only six days later on June 12th another visitor arrived in the shape of Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office.
The Cabinet Office plays an important role in progressing issues that do not fall neatly within a single Governmental Department and the Oxford Food Bank (being a charity distributing food to alleviate food poverty, but also working to reduce food waste) definitely falls between several Departments. This was an important opportunity then for the most senior representative of the Cabinet Office to find out what OFB was all about, and for OFB to explain why its’ mode of operation is the best model for other new food banks to emulate.
There to greet the Minister were four of the Food Bank’s Trustees: founding Director Robin Aitken and Treasurer Noel Heaven (both pictured below with Francis Maude) plus Ann Poulter and David Kay (not shown).
After an hour spent discussing OFB’s operations and touring the premises Francis Maude left with a clear view of one potential vision for food banks of the future….
…. meanwhile about 60 miles away in Central London OFB’s other founding Director and current Chairman, David Cairns, was presenting information about OFB to a number of other politicians at a cross-party Parliamentary Enquiry into food poverty.
Although very much a local organisation it is nice to see OFB currently getting some serious recognition at a national level. Long may it continue!