Samphire, asparagus and mooli are not what most people expect to find in a food bank – but Oxford Food Bank is different. Whilst most food banks rely on donations of packaged goods, the Oxford Food Bank collects unsold fresh food from local supermarkets and wholesalers that would otherwise be wasted, and then delivers it free of charge to over 100 charities across Oxfordshire. Because it receives food surplus from many different suppliers, the Oxford Food Bank offers a wide range of fruit, vegetables, bakery and dairy products. The chefs in the charities it supports have learnt to be creative, adjusting their plans according to availability of ingredients.
With a team of 120 volunteers, Oxford Food Bank supports a range of local organisations including mental health charities, homeless services, youth groups, refugee charities and primary schools. The food that OFB provides helps these organisations to save money on nutritious food for their clients, educate people about cooking and nutrition, and create a community around cooking and sharing food.
Tel: 01865 236420
Address: Unit 12, Curtis Industrial Estate, North Hinksey Lane, Botley, Oxford OX2 0LX
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How to help
Although the food bank mainly recieves waste from local distributors, manufacturers and local food businesses, you can donate to the food bank directly with a monetary donation, or volunteer your time to help support them. For every £1 the Oxford Food Bank receives in donations they deliver around £10 worth of fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy products.
They are also happy to accept donations of excess food from individuals where it would otherwise be going to waste, for example a glut of fruit or vegetables from your garden or allotment. If you, or an organisation that you represent, have excess food that is still usable get in contact directly.
Oxford Food Bank manager Cathy Howard says, “We are always happy to hear from businesses that want to reduce their food waste, especially when they’re as passionate about food as we are”.
Please note that the food bank cannot accept sandwiches, raw meat or fish, or processed meat and fish products with a ‘use by’ date.