The OX4 Food Crew (OX4FC) is a partnership of organisations based in OX4 Oxford working with and for people experiencing food insecurity, which has been exposed and exacerbated by the pandemic.

 

OUR STORY

Right at the start of the pandemic, the founding organisations Ark-T, Waste 2 Taste and People Place and Participation Ltd ( Flo’s) quickly became aware from our community members about the impact of the food shortages on our communities. 

We quickly responded to immediate local need during the peak of the pandemic and the lockdowns that followed by providing home cooked meals to people who were isolated, unwell and struggling to feed themselves and their loved ones. 

We teamed up with Oxford Community Action and the Syrian Sisters who were galvanizing action within communities facing cultural and language barriers to accessing the support they needed. Supported by Oxford Hub we recruited dozens of volunteers. We had emergency relief funding from Oxford Community Foundation, The National Lottery Community Fund and private donations. We had support from SOFEA and Oxford Food Hub to get access to surplus food with which to create food parcels and cooked meals. 

OX4 Food Crew Free Meals
OX4 Food Crew Food Parcels

As word got out to the wider communities, the numbers of referrals increased and we began to gain better insight into the needs and also how best to support longer term autonomy and resilience. The community we served told us about insecure housing, poor mental health, social isolation, low-income, long-term health conditions, single-parenting, lack of access to the benefit and welfare system - the many barriers to accessing public support and impact on their ability to access healthy food locally. We began working with other frontline food initiatives listening to their lived experience and their knowledge of the ‘under-reached communities’ they have been able to serve

Since then we have begun to expand the partnership and develop our strategy for tackling food poverty in OX4 over the next 10 years. See Our Mission below.

 

 

Our impact to date:

Since April 2020 Oxford Community Action has provided over 35,000 food parcels and Waste2Taste and Flo’s have cooked and delivered over 17,000 cooked meals in OX4. We have also held 4 'Pay-as-you-feel Community Meals'. We have started to run regular community meals and we have supported and launched two diversity led food related social enterprises (No Vice Ice and Damascus Rose Kitchen). As part of a new inclusive economy we are creating volunteering opportunities, training, employment and putting the power for recovery into the hands of those who have been most impacted by the pandemic, but also those who have been most affected by long term systemic inequalities that wider public services have been unable to address. To find out more about what we do or to access any of our services, click here.

 

 

What's Next? Our Mission

During 2021 the Partnership is developing and expanding, responding to diverse needs and a shift of emphasis - beginning to build community led recovery and resilience. Working with more local organisations and learning from wider networks such as Good Food Oxford, we want to work towards a system change in how we think about food and eating well and addressing the food inequalities that exist within our community. 

Over the next 5 years we want to expand the work of the OX4 Food Crew Partnership and there are other groups that would like to join us - having seen the impact of the work to date. 

We want to build resilience and tackle the root causes of food insecurity and injustice across OX4 and grow and develop place-based responses to overcome the current barriers.

Read our full mission statement and plans, here.