Many of OFB’s clients close over Christmas, but supermarkets have more waste than ever. A group of OFB volunteers decided to do something about that.
On Christmas Day, over 300 diners and 100 volunteers came together at The King’s Centre to share a meal of food that would otherwise have been thrown away. Half a tonne of smoked salmon came from Chef Direct and 70 turkeys were collected from local supermarkets.
Diners came from MIND, Gateway, Archway, Tandem, Restore, and Oxford’s Syrian refugee community, as well as those who simply wanted to share Christmas with others. Every diner was offered transport and 70 takeaways were distributed to those who preferred not to come to the Centre.
There was entertainment, music, and even some impromptu Syrian dancing. Diners were given petcare and dogfood, showers, food bags, and backpacks for the kids.
Best of all was the atmosphere of inclusivity and celebration amongst both volunteers and diners. Clips of the event on Facebook were viewed over 5,000 times. Comments and tweets included:
‘This just made me cry, thank you to all of you for what you do.’
‘Amazing and very inspirational!’
‘Well done everyone. What a bright light of hope.’
‘As a volunteer host, I can tell you we didn’t feel we were giving up our Christmas, but having a wonderful Christmas meeting lots of interesting people from all over the place and having a great time. Thank you.’
‘It’s good to see community is strong in a crazy world.’
‘Oxford food bank! Amazing atmosphere, wonderful volunteers, excess food, gifts for the children and adults, Santa Claus, a dog boudoir, balloons for big kids, all arranged by the amazing Oxford food bank team! We salute you! You have made so many people feel part of a family and at home today.’
Click on the links below to read two articles about the meal:
Here are a few more photos from the event: