Oxford Food Hub, based in Botley, has been sharing surplus food and supporting Oxfordshire charities for 15 years this October.
Founders Robin Aiken and Davin Cairns started collecting surplus food from one supermarket in a car and taking it to 5 charities back in October 2008. Today, Oxford Food Hub has two warehouses, 6 vans and 90 volunteers who collect and deliver food to 200 charities and community groups across the county.In the last year alone, Oxford Food Hub saved 497 tonnes of food from landfill. This is enough food to make 1:1 million meals. The charity’s mission is both to reduce food waste and the associated carbon emissions, but also to alleviate food poverty. The number of charities registering to receive free food has increased from 150 to 200 this year as the cost of living crisis has pushed more families and individuals into food poverty. An event for donors and supporters marking the 15-year anniversary of Oxford Food Hub was attended by the Deputy Lieutenant, Lady Baker, Layla Moran MP, and the Lord Mayor of Oxford. Speaking after the event, Chief Executive Officer, Emily Smith, thanked local people for giving money, surplus food, and volunteering their time to the Oxford Food Hub. “What we have achieved over the past 15 years is incredible. Hard work by volunteers, supported by a small staff team and funding from generous donors has enabled us to support thousands of people experiencing food poverty across Oxfordshire”. “We have a challenging few years ahead. The cost-of-living crisis is hitting people from all walks of life and across the county, so demand for food support continues to rise. At the same time, there is less surplus food easily available to us. I would hope 15 years from now food poverty will no longer exist, but for the time being, the work Oxford Food Hub is doing to support the charities on the front line, providing food and other support across Oxfordshire, is crucial”.