The Oxford Food Bank was started by a group of local people who identified a need for a project of this kind in Oxford. In 2006 a feasibility study estimated that as many as 50 charities and community projects would benefit from free deliveries of food – food that would otherwise have been dumped.
The Oxford Food Bank launched officially in October 2009 . It is run entirely by volunteers who donate their time to the project. It started small but now provides up to 5000 meals a week to people living in food poverty. The Food Bank calculates that in the past year it gave away £250,000 worth of fresh wholesome food that would otherwise have gone to landfill.
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 every shift - there are two each day; without their help the Food Bank would struggle.
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 huge new, free premises at Seacourt Tower, thanks to Healthy Planet and Cultivate, and with the financial help of Opus Energy.
We currently deliver to about 30 charities in and around Oxford – some of them on a daily basis. The charity is growing fast but recognises that there is much still to be done to save food from going to waste and to feed people in need.