Oxford Food Bank celebrates its 10th anniversary

Oxford Food Bank volunteers, suppliers and friends gathered on 29th September to celebrate 10 years of preventing food waste in Oxfordshire. We had an open day at our warehouse base and a party at neighbouring brewery Tap Social, with food provided by the wonderful Waste2Taste.

To celebrate 10 years, some of the more energetic volunteers also took part in a 10k walk, taking in Harcourt Hill, Chilswell Valley and South Hinksey. In spite of the weather, walkers said it was a good opportunity to get together and chat – and some also took the opportunity to raise sponsorship for the Food Bank.

Volunteers and representatives of charities took the opportunity to celebrate what Oxford Food Bank has achieved over the past ten years. Volunteer Jude Carroll shared anecdotes about volunteers’ favourite moments, which included Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace, the charity receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2018, many tales about weird and wonderful vegetables, van-whisperers, and the endless supply of bananas and lemon curd.

Visitors included Vice Lord Lieutenant Brian Buchan, who celebrated Oxford Food Bank’s contribution to the community. We also had a journalist from the Oxford Mail – see their full article here. Everyone raised a glass to toast 10 fantastic years, and to look forward to many productive years ahead.

Oxford Food Bank volunteers and friends celebrate their 10th birthday. Photo: Ed Nix

Unipart proves that we save £1m of surplus food a year from landfill

In August Unipart volunteers helped to weigh produce coming through the base, and were able to confirm our guess that we save more than £1m of surplus food from landfill every year! With great energy and enthusiasm, they diligently weighed everything we received for 1 week. Over seven days we received 7.4 tonnes of surplus food with a retail value of nearly £20,000!

The initiative is part of Unipart Group Cowley choosing Oxford Food Bank as its nominated charity. We would never have had time to undertake such research ourselves, but this accurate information will help us with future fundraising bids. Thanks to everyone at Unipart!

TAC kayak the Thames for the Oxford Food Bank

The The Athlete Centre Oxford assembled a team of 8 people who embarked on a 4-day trip from Lechlade to St Katherine Docks in London. They left Lechlade on 2nd May. The trip took 4 long days and the team covered over 150 miles, with the group actively kayaking for over 10 hours each day.

“Why? When we set the challenge we knew we wanted to raise money for a local charity where every little donation would go a long way. The Food Bank do an amazing job and they rely heavily on donations so we couldn’t think of a better organisation to get involved with.”

TAC raised £3,356.79!  Amazing paddling! We’re immensely grateful for all the hard work.

OFB on the front page of the Guardian

In a front page article in the Guardian on Monday May 20 Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the UK government of breaching its international duty to keep people from hunger by pursuing “cruel and harmful polices” with no regard for the impact on children living in poverty.
Volunteers and staff at schools in Oxford confirmed that they were now reliant on donations from the Oxford Food Bank, saying that teachers were noticing pupils who were missing meals at home and needed to be fed.

Read the full article here:

John, Geoff and Brian complete Bike Oxford

With 25 years of OFB volunteering between them and a collective age of 206 (we may need to check this!) we’re very proud to announce that John, Geoff and Brian completed their 25-mile circuit in Bike Oxford on Sunday 19th May. Incredible effort guys!
They would like to thank everyone, friends, family and other OFB volunteers for their incredibly generous support.

They have today raised £1300 for the OFB!

The weather was perfect and they finished the 27 mile course (they added on a bit) in around 2.5 hours. They had great fun but are looking forward to getting out and about on the roads again in the comfort  of their OFB white van on Thursday mornings.

https://www.justgiving.com/fu…/teamdelusional-oxfordfoodbank

Prince Harry visits the Barton Neighbourhood Centre

A fantastic day for the OFB today at Barton Neighbourhood Centre on Tuesday 14 May and so thrilling for the Barton community! Huge thanks and admiration to Sue, Mandy, Sharon and their team – they’ve been planning this day for a year.  Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, talked to every single one of us there. And is as passionate about #foodwaste and #plastic as we are.

Watch Cathy and Sue Holden being interviewed here.

Bread-based beer brewed to raise money for Oxford Food Bank

Tap Social Movement has teamed up with us and Toast Ale to raise awareness of food waste, food poverty and offender rehabilitation. On Thursday 7th February 2019 we  all got together to break up 140kg of surplus bread which went straight into vats to start the brewing process. The ale will be launched at a special event on March 8th.

Tap Social’s director Tess Taylor said: “Our collaboration beer will be brewed at our brewery here in Oxford, using surplus bread collected by the Oxford Food Bank, with profits from the brew being donated back to them as well. It’s a fantastic opportunity for like-minded breweries to come together.”

Find out all about it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prWcT_3VQZ0&feature=share

OFB supported by Oxford United and Sunderland AFC

We were so touched by the overwhelming kindness shown by Oxford United Official and Sunderland AFC fans and staff on Saturday 9th February. They donated £1,500 and half a ton of food. All made possible by the awesome OUFC management team and OXVOX – Oxford United’s Independent Supporters’ Trust.

From the Oxford Mail: “OXFORD United fans have been praised for their generosity after a food bank collection was hailed as a big success. Supporters descended on the game with Sunderland at the weekend clutching tins and dried goods to donate to those in need. Organisers said a ‘huge’ amount of food had been donated, breaking expectations.

More than £1,000 was also raised in cash to support the work of the charity which provides food to 80 groups and organisations. Organisers OxVox thanked the club’s ‘wonderful supporters’ for embracing the initiative.”

QAVS

The Lord Lieutenant, Tim  Stephenson, came to the base on Friday 26th October 2018 to award the Oxford Food Bank the Queens Award for Voluntary Services.  A fine acceptance speech from volunteer Malcolm Hope before an assembled throng of 50 volunteers, wonderful cakes from Happy Cakes and best cucumber sandwiches from trustee Deborah Lewis. A very special day for everyone.

 

Beet the Waste

Beet the Waste takes over the Curtis Industrial Estate between Tap Social Movement and the Oxford Food Bank with food prepared by Sandra and Marie of Waste2Taste. Organised each September by Low Carbon West Oxford it’s a magnificent showcase for sustainable organisations in the locality. We throw open our doors for the day so anyone can see the mountains of surplus fruit and veg, plus talk to our volunteers about what they do and why they do it!