When we started our emergency food distribution service, we didn’t anticipate how quickly our operations would grow. We started off serving just over 40 families in early May. And every week saw an increase in new community champions approaching us from their respective communities and also an increase in the reach of families that would like our help.
NOW WE ARE SERVING OVER 300 FAMILIES EACH WEEK!
SOFEA have been an excellent support for us – increasing the quantity of food packages to our Centre on Hurst Street (thanks to City College Oxford!) and the Oxford Food Bank have also allowed us to collect multiple times to support our network. We’ve also had tremendous support from Oxford Mutual Aid, especially from Logan to help us with logistics to ensure a smooth and efficient operation.
But the biggest help came from the community champions that helped to reach out to their respective communities to find out which households we could help, collect the food for distribution, made the necessary preparations to help distribute the food and organise a whole host of volunteer drivers to deliver these emergency food packages discreetly, taking into account the nuances found within our communities.
This operation surpassed all our expectations. And our team of amazing volunteers have done Oxford proud.
To keep this momentum going, we have had to find ways to ensure sustainability. And as any operation grows, so does the cost of running it. More volunteers are using their own vehicle and fuel to deliver food to their neighbours and respective community members. And it’s a shame that our funds don’t increase in the same trajectory.
After a lot of long nights, coffee and discussion with our community champions representing their communities, we came to the conclusion that we should apply a very tiny charge for each emergency food package to cover the cost of delivery – just £1. This will help us to reimburse our volunteer drivers for using their own car and fuel to deliver this food to each home. We’re also scrapping the use of those large boxes that we delivered in, as it was a logistical nightmare to acquire them in large quantities every week. Instead, we will use 100% recycled and fully recyclable bags for life from the local supermarket.
Finally, we are always looking for extra funding to keep this project alive for the sake of those that have been hit the hardest by Covid-19. If you can help us with fundraising or any donations for those who genuinely cannot afford to pay £1 for the cost of delivery to their homes, then please get in touch with us!